Sunday, August 23, 2009

Familiar Furniture, Unfamiliar Themes

In the library the other day, I discovered the book Hatched! The Big Push from Pregnancy to Motherhood, by Sloane Tanen - who also wrote Bitter With Baggage Seeks Same. Pubdoll and The Shopping Sherpa both mentioned Bitter in their blogs (though sadly I can't find TSS's post right now).
The furniture is very familiar:

and so is the topic, but not in this setting:

I also stumbled across a webpage about an exhibition called "Shrinking Childhoods", (Tate Modern, 2004-2005), in which children who had been sexually or emotionally abused depicted their experiences through life-size or dolls house-sized installations. I won't copy the images here, as they're pretty shocking, but I was pleased to see dolls houses being used to let kids act out not just sanitised or romanticised versions of daily life, but the gritty reality.


  1. I agree with you, Rebecca. That these kids can act out thair painful expierences is very important a good thing.
    Yes, shocking fotos. I hate the fact, that we are used to see such scenes on television, even if we don't wanted. To be used to see pain is not good. This fotos are shocking because they are unusual.
    Thank you very much for sharing, that's another thing than "appartement-therapie".

  2. I didn't even go to that website but I'm thankful for those who are helping children.
    Another site I visit is Enchanted Makeovers.
    They redo shelters for women and children. It is a beautiful website.

  3. Oh this was a challenging post to comment! First when I saw the pictures from bitter with baggage I was amused and thought it funny, also because her bathroom furniture was so like mine, but then I clicked on your link!
    Very strong and heartbreaking pictures indeed, that took a while to digest. But as you pointed out, in all this harsh reality displayed, it's good that our hobby, which so often is used to show romanticised and ideal homes, also can be used as therapy for these kids. Thank you for sharing!

  4. My post is here:


  5. You're right, Oese, we do see a lot of violence on tv, made into stories to entertain us. Even if it also informs us, can it really help the victims of violence? whereas this therapy does, I hope.

  6. Hi Pubdoll, yes, the bathroom is vintage Lundby, like yours!
    Maybe kids, when they are playing, act out things that disturb them. I hope so - but the dolls house dolls which are sold for kids to play with often show ideal families and people - not even any fat people! A fairy-tale world, without the wicked witch or the beast. What do you think, with your kids? I'm sure they have not experienced anything like the kids in the project, but most lives have fights or disappointments.

  7. Thank you, TSS! I knew it was there somewhere, just didn't get far enough back! But it's always fun and educational to read through your blog :-)

  8. Thanks for your comment, Kathi. Shelters can often be depressing, so I'm sure the girls and women appreciate the fresh surroundings.

  9. hahaha - really cute!! the reading chicks are so lovely!


  10. No my kids have rather good lifes I guess :-)
    I asked my daughter if the doll's quarrelled when they were playing with them. She said yes, and my son answered of course they do, because they are just like real people, only smaller. But of course, he's used to my dolls, who don't live a totally romanticised life, with messy childrens rooms, divorced couples, heavy drinkers and there is yet more to come :-)

  11. Rebecca, just want to thank you for the link to the Shrinking Childhood exhibition. Although by now, violence against children is nothing new, it is still an emotional experience to see it through their eyes.

    I also enjoy your post on the origins of miniatures.