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29 October 2014

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October 2002
Hello Blythe exhibition
Blythe dolls
Blythe dolls
Whether perched amongst a pile of oranges or strolling elegantly through the streets of London, Blythe is here.

Review by Matt Davenport
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Hello Blythe exhibition
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This Is Blythe
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Hello Blythe exhibition:
Open: Until the 19th October 2002
Location: Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University

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Meticulously choreographed portraits surround the gallery.

Whether perched amongst a pile of oranges or strolling elegantly through the streets of London, Blythe is here.

Caught on camera and shot as if human, this enigmatic series of photographs narrate the story and adventures within the life of Blythe.

Gina Garan has bestowed this one-foot tall plastic doll with an amazing lifestyle. She first laid eyes upon Blythe on the e-bay auction website, a blonde scruffy haired one with grubby legs.

From that moment forth Garan purchased as many Blythe dolls as she could get her hands on, it became some what an obsession for her.

Blythe doll in situ
Blythe doll in situ
Inspired by the nostalgic toys of the 1970's, Gina Garan began to shoot Blythe Like a human model.

Maintaining a real-life setting and hiding any toy-like features from view, Garan transforms what we know is a doll into a convincing emotional character.

She often finds even herself talking to the doll, apologising for placing her in such compromising positions.

Upon first impression, the imagery appears to be intended for children. In spite of this, the playful sense of nostalgia fascinates every generation, as you can almost rediscover your childhood through this human mirror.

Blythe doll in situ
Blythe doll in situ
As Blythe goes through her daily exploits, in diverse situations, one consistent theme remains strong, the change in her eye colour and clothes.

It's unbelievable to think that just a doll with a moulded face can change so dramatically.

By way of an adroit use of colour employed by the artist, Blythe can emit and evoke a huge range of emotion.

She comes equipped with one exceptionally significant feature, namely a draw string at the back of her head. This quality enables the owner to change the colour of her eyes from blue, green and brown to orange, creating this impression of mood and emotion.

She can look romantic, anxious, cute, sexy, innocent, the list goes on and it's this human like portrayal which provides Blythe with a profound universal appeal. She is a free- spirit who can do anything and everything. We can all relate to the activities she undertakes.

Thousands of Japanese fans are buying up vintage or present day Blythe dolls. Her Manga cartoon-like features have ensured her to be a big hit in Japan.

However, as Blythe receives more and more coverage, I expect her global cultural appeal will become apparent. Stunningly envisioned work.

Hello Blythe runs at the Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University, until October 19. Alternatively you can visit Blythe's website at
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