Kate Davis

Eight Blocks or a Field (Bone Doll II)

About this artwork

These are intricately drawn portraits of childhood dolls. Artist Kate Davis drew these ‘emergent dolls’ at the Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh. The dolls were assembled from simple found materials, including dried beans and bone fragments. They were collected by Edward Lovett (1852-1933) from British slums at the start of the 20th century. Lovett admired the children’s ingenuity and creativity: ‘It is remarkable how clever some of the poor children are, and how they continue to make quite a decent little dolly “out of nothing.”’ Davis’s drawing style, inspired by the portraiture of classical French painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780–1867), elevates their humble nature, revelling in material detail and expressing their personalities.

Published September 2022

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Kate Davis

Kate Davis