UPDATE: The works from this series that were still available for purchase were destroyed by fire on September 14, 2014.
The Deserted Toyshop consists of twenty-five still life photographs, with each work a miniature staged image of different toys from my own collection (some owned since childhood). Each featured toy occupies its own specially designed tableau, in the tradition of the Victorian-era diorama. The photos are presented in a variety of ornate frames, adding to the theatrical nature of the work.
Toys have served as anthropomorphized symbols and stand-ins for childhood, growth, and memory throughout the spectrum of Western contemporary culture–from the threatening swan puppet of Angela Carter’s novel, The Magic Toyshop–to “Rosebud,” the sled symbolizing Charles Foster Kane’s lost happiness in the film Citizen Kane. The tiny denizens occupying these images strive to bring their own personalities to life within the context of their magic realist surroundings.
The Deserted Toyshop had its premiere exhbition at Argyle Fine Art in Halifax in June, 2010. The Coast magazine, Halifax, described it as “Tiny, magical masterpieces to take you back in time.”