Last month we welcomed The Cameron Twins to Enter Gallery - a contemporary artistic duo who've been brightening up the art world with over-saturated works exploring duality, play, and their differing memories of a shared childhood.
We’re delighted to announce the release of All Dolled Up, a funny and unsettling piece that celebrates iconic childhood dolls, and advertising history. The rectangular shape of this 8-colour silkscreen print is an exciting new shaped print for the Twins, and is available exclusively at Enter Gallery now.
In today’s blog, we’re sharing some snaps of the print being made, and chatting to The Cameron Twins to learn more about the inspirations behind the piece.
Fry’s 5 Boys
Perhaps the layout of this new piece feels familiar? If so, that’s because All Dolled Up is inspired by a vintage advert from retro chocolate brand, Fry’s.
In their classic 5 Boy’s advert, a young lad is captured expressing numerous emotions before finally being placated with the chocolate bar he craves. The Twins have replaced the boy with different dolls, that includes a vintage doll alongside other beloved favourites, Barbie, Kewpie, Raggedy Ann, and a Cabbage Patch Kid. Abigail tells us:
“We took the words from the original advert, and looked for dolls with expressions that matched those emotions. As well as just being fun to find dolls with expressions that worked, the piece also alludes to how when you’re younger, you give different personalities to different dolls depending on your childhood imagination. Pacification is perfect for the Cabbage Patch Doll, he’s got such a blank little face with those eyes just staring out!”
The Twins explain that All Dolled Up is also an exploration of portraiture and its history as an art form. Nowadays, portraiture has become part of our everyday, with people using their phones to create selfies and instant images. However, back in the day, portraits were traditionally used to convey social status. Phebe explains:
“Portraits were traditionally used as a way to ‘love and honour’, and this piece is a nod to that. It’s reminiscent of how, when you’re little, you’re obsessed with your dolls so you put them on a pedestal. It reflects the love felt for old toys, the memories that they evoke, and the place they hold in the viewer’s childhood.”
While funny, All Dolled Up has an undeniably creepy edge, which is a theme seen across The Cameron Twins’ work, with the pair combining their signature over-saturated colours with blank-eyed dolls.
One example is The Lovers, which features knife-wielding toys in the midst of beheading a pair of fluffy kittens. When asked to explain what draws them to using dolls to infuse their pieces with their unique sense of the macabre. Abigail reveals:
“Dolls have such expressive faces. Most of them don’t really look human even though they are supposed to be. It’s interesting how the closer they are to actual humans, the creepier they are. The Kewpie doll looks quite cute, but it also doesn’t look real, whereas the Barbie has quite a threatening expression. And then there’s the Cabbage Patch Doll. It looks closer to how an actual baby looks, but that almost makes it the weirdest of all.”
All Dolled Up is available exclusively at Enter Gallery now.