Concept, video, artwork and dolls

Special thanks to Elena Dudina & FairieGoodmother


Concept, video, dolls & artwork: ELEANOR BOYCE
Original cemetery photographs: LadyxBoleyn


Concept, dolls, artwork and video by Eleanor Boyce
Music by Alexander Zafiropoulos ‘Crestfallen’
Spider and Bird animations by Mark Thomas
Special thanks to Ookami Kasumi for room templates.



Boycian art is defined, naturally, through the immaculate conceptual art of Eleanor Boyce of the United Kingdom. With her creations, Boyce takes the idea of the hand-crafted doll a step further with a series of four videos mixing together the elements of animation and of music.

Childhood was a magical time; once upon a time as we see in In a Dollhouse.

Recall when the refrigerator was a form of divine entity from whence cookies and milk simply appeared by magic?

Alas! It was also a time of terrors.

Imagined shadow beasts under the bed, in the closet and hanging overhead. The spider--the shape shifting nun.

Imprisonment with the spider has been seared into the memories of the beautiful dolls; the void of their eyes houses an agony without name. The door of the dollhouse closes like the vault, and the sanctuary is overrun with vermin, gorgeous and troubled by the very decay they now inhabit; creatures of the forest acting as spiritual guides in what light remains. It is sorrow unto sorrow, but crafted with a majesty of unparalleled beauty as we enter the palace of the tragically demented, of the tormented who hold onto what astonishingly high amount of gorgeousness remains to them.

The theme of poetic justice lies brilliantly displayed as Boyce takes us from fragility into a funeral march for the lost faces in And Dolls Shall Rise. Those poor tales which ended too quickly: The statue of justice shattered at birth and the ghosts with scores to settle wander the graveyard. How dare the world of men destroy this beauty? And the world of men dares to forget! It is a blessing to know these fools are cursed to be tormented by the ghosts. The unbroken chain of history is slaughter; the monocle over the Death’s Head’s flaming socket: the face of war, and the dolls hang from each hideous link.

We travel onward in this journey with Dolly Tell No Lies crafted from outrage o’er the horrendous act of injecting Sodium Thiopental into children as an instrument of torture. The idea was to force the truth from them. We begin with a splash of blood upon the screen and a torrent of confused screams and tears in the sanitarium. The dolls bleed beside each spirit guide, the specter of a disembodied head slams against one wall and finds its way to another; faces fall and hover escaping from the physical form with the haunting melody of this torment ringing in the ears of the onlooker. How I wish I could reach into the screen and save every one of them from the terrors of the imprisonment; from the doctor looming, smiling as he holds the bloody needle in his gown “in human gore imbued” and tears stream down my face as I hear the child weep as I leave (or rather, as I flee) the sanitarium.

From here, the curtain closes and opens anew to the realm of dreams in Dollwood. Here, Earth is the mother, and nature is the church of the stillborn, the unborn and those whose tales have ended too soon. A frenzied melody pours from the darkness of each doll’s eyes. And the choir launches the viewer into the surreal realm betwixt the nightmare and the dream where flowers must first fall before they can rise, where Nature herself flutters free as every child reaches for a helping hand.

In conclusion, Boyce has created an artistic vision of a category which belongs solely to herself. It cannot be imitated, but it must be praised. For no other maiden wandering this planet could hope to create visions of such a divine beauty and in such pure need of understanding as that of Mother Eleanor Boyce.

--J. Leland Pratt A.M.P.M. Magazine Helm, WA 2013


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