I saw this first on a friend’s Facebook page (thanks Sarah Dezille) and found it incredible on so many different levels. These are the Tree Change Dolls – face-overs given to unwanted Bratz dolls by the artist Sonia Singh from Australia. Using simple nail polish remover and eucalyptus oil, she removes the original paint..and re-paints new faces. The dolls are then re-dressed in outfits handmade by her mother, transformed from something ready to be thrown away..to a true Cinderella moment…it boggles the mind to think they once even shared the same gene-pool..
Sonia was just doing this for fun..then she uploaded a few pictures on her dolls to Tumblr..and the effect went viral..
It’s not surprising..she’s created something so simple, so innocent..and for me, captured something utterly nostalgic and precious. Inadvertently her dolls have opened up the debate on the sexualisation of children and the increasing speed with which they now grow up. For me it’s less about that – I wouldn’t tell Bella not to play with a Bratz doll. But I love how something so simple can radiate an even stronger power: After years of drink, drugs and bad hair extensions, these Bratz have a new lease of life away from their whirling, high-energy, high-pressure existence and are now embracing and thriving in the type of life I’d like for my kids..
And there’s nothing to stop anyone else from having a go – there’s various Youtube films made by Sonia showing how to do it yourself which I thoroughly recommend..but I rather like her first film, explaining how it all started:
I think they’re wonderful, and hope, over the Easter holidays to create some UK versions with Bella (although I ‘d be perfectly happy just to find a quiet corner and do it by myself…)
Part of the appeal is that the eyes and expressions remind me so much of Sasha dolls from the 60s and 70s. A doll I never had but coveted – my best bud Ella had two! Not only did they have such enigmatic faces, but their wardrobes were to-die-for too..
(I’m sure it was my first experience of the power of clothes..)
It always amazes me how life works in cycles…Tree Change is the old-fashioned calm at the heart of the modern life storm…and I love it!
Laters, Kate x