Barbie Hack, March 11 2012, Milkwood Gallery, Cardiff.
The next event that I’m contributing to is part of Milkwood Gallery’s programme of activities for International Women’s Day. Laura and I, (from, and as ThinkARK,) are running a ‘Barbie hack’. The idea was borne of a throwaway conversation about Sugru, Made in Roath and Barbie, and we decided we’d run an event where we invite people to ‘hack’ Barbie into a normal female shape using plasticine.
We loved playing with Barbie as we grew up, and we wanted to encourage people to consider popular views and ideas about the female form, and to challenge those Frankenstein forms presented to us by mass media. Poor Barbie is a representation of what the media tells us we should be - to the extent that her feet were moulded into a permanent tip-toe stance ready for her stilettos!
I’m really looking forward to this workshop. It’s been so much fun looking round car-boots and charity shops for old Barbies to use, and also digging up old Barbie ads and stuff online to reacquaint myself with my old friend. She’s changed a lot over the years, and I was surprised at the extent of her change, but then I’m sure, if her plastic face could talk she’d say the same about me. The changes we’ve both gone through are not so great as to have fallen out of love with her though, and this is my favourite Barbie; I love you Barbie. I still melt when I see that dress!