• Carol Wiebe

A Doll Is Not Necessarily Just a Pretty Plaything

Dolls are traditionally considered to be pretty playthings. As such, they are non-threatening, mere toys, used by children to act out their innocent fantasies.

Well . . . Margi Hennen makes dolls with such a wack-load of personality, you’d swear they were six feet tall. They evince the kinds of messages that cavort with your cranium, instigating such eruptions as a hearty guffaw or an expletive (“&$#@% ! That is so true!). Kristen Pauch-Nolin characterizes them as “subversive . . . . capable of inciting, reflection, dialogue and change.” See some of them here, and here. Pretty playthings? Hardly!

I am tempted to characterize these dolls as jesters. Wikipedia reminds us that “the court jester – precisely because anything he said was by definition “a jest” and “the uttering of a fool” – could speak frankly on controversial issues in a way in which anyone else would have been severely punished for . . . Still, even the jester was not entirely immune from punishment, and he needed to walk a thin line and exercise careful judgement in how far he might go – which required him to be far from a “fool” in the modern sense.”

A tip of the mock sceptre to Master Jester Hennen, who is far from a fool herself: her dolls are not made to play with. They play with you!

A number of years ago, I created a doll for a very personal reason.

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My mother makes her home quite far from me. I am pleased to envision that she can cradle the doll in her hand and have an immediate sense that her daughter cares for her.

#MargiHennen #prettyplaythings #artdolls #dolls #fool #innocent #jester

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