Dolls House Emporium 3 Cullet Drive
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The Strange Snow Globes of Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz
8 January 2018
We love all things miniature here at The Dolls' House Emporium, and now that we're fully in the depths of winter, we thought it'd be a great opportunity to look at some of our favourite miniature wintry artworks: the snow globes of artists Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz.
The husband and wife team have been creating miniature works of art inside snow globes for more than 15 years. They use these tiny spaces to create scenes that are surreal, beautiful, touching, funny and sometimes sinister.
You can find out more, and see a showcase of their work in this lovely video.
We've selected some of our favourite pieces of their work to show you here. Enjoy!
Traveler 300, 2014 & Traveler 306, 2014
Traveler 286, 2012 & Sleepy Head II, 2016
Traveler 78 at Night, 2003 & Traveler 290, 2012
Traveler 153 at Night, 2005 & Traveler 170 at Night, 2005
Traveler 48 at Night, 2004 & Traveler 79 at Night, 2016
Traveler 186 at Night, 2006 & Traveler 126 at Night, 2004
Traveler 40 at Night, 2006 & Traveler 293 at Night, 2003
As well as these amazing snow globes, the duo have also created a number of miniature panoramic scenes.
The Orchard at Night, 2005
The Movers, 2011
Pretty Birds, 2011
We think that their work is absolutely stunning. Beautiful and thought provoking, their work is a testament to just how wonderful miniatures can be.
It’s an intriguing question and one which American poet and performer Nada Gordon has tried to answer in her ‘ululations’ blog.
Nada, it transpires, is also something of a dolls’ house enthusiast and is busy creating one of her own.
When someone asked her whether her dolls’ house was art, this was her reply:
“I don't know, it felt like sort of a loaded question. Isn't everything an artist does art if she says it is? And isn't it also problematic to assume that kitschy/marginalized/"women's” pursuits like dollhouses are in any way not art?
It’s all too easy to be patronising about a love of dolls’ houses, the implication that it is somehow childish and not at all a grown-up passion.
However, there are many fantastic dolls’ houses that are unquestionably works of art – Queen Mary’s dolls’ house for one, Titania’s Palace and Tara’s Palace – all of them magical creations.
Returning to Nada and her own dolls’ house, she writes:
“Is this art? All I know is that I'm putting a lot of myself and my time into it, it's full of emotions...”
And what more could you ask of any work of art?
A sense of irony and playfulness are prerequisites of modern art and artist Jocelyne Grivaud certainly has them on display in her doll-sized recreations of iconic works of art.
Inspired by her childhood memories of playing with plastic dolls, Jocelyne has recreated famous paintings such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ and Vermeer’s ‘Girl with the Pearl Earring’ featuring none other than Barbie as her model.
Among other artists subjected to the Barbie treatment are Andy Warhol, Rene Magritte and Pablo Picasso. Barbie is also reproduced as the Venus de Milo and the Statue of Liberty.
You can see Jocelyne’s work at her website entitled barbiemamuse.
St Louis based artist, Carrie M Becker, has created a striking if unsettling dolls’ house.
She's imagined what Barbie’s "dream" house would look like if Barbie turned out to be a hoarder.
‘Barbie trashes her dreamhouse’ is the name of Carrie’s unusual artwork and it’s a dolls’ house made to 1/6th scale in which every room is filled literally from floor to ceiling with all the stuff a hoarder collects rather than throwing away.
Carrie explains that her inspiration came from watching TV shows like ‘How clean is your house?’ and she has certainly created an incredibly detailed artwork where the chaotic clutter looks all too real.
It’s not a house you would ever want to live in but neither is it one you are likely to forget in a hurry.
So congratulations to Carrie and shame on you, Barbie!