These images are a symbolic representation of the physical and spiritual embodiment of humanity. They are reminders of both cultural differences and alternate realities.
My mother collected these objects during her lifetime of travel and gave them to my daughters as gifts. As my daughter’s grew, the dolls lost their importance and were relegated to a cardboard box in my basement. I came upon them years later and wondered if they could be resurrected.
The dolls were placed on top of x-ray film and then irradiated by a beam of high energy x-rays from a linear accelerator. The same kind of radiation is used to treat cancer. The x-ray film was processed, scanned, and saved as a digital file. The dolls were also photographed using a digital camera. These two images, x-ray and photograph, were overlaid resulting in the final composite image. In a real and yet also symbolic way, these images reveal both visible and invisible attributes by the synthesis of different imaging techniques.
That which is internal and unseen is revealed by the penetrating, high energy x-rays. When the photograph is taken, light reflected from the doll’s surface is collected. The object, now imaged from both within and without, appears to come alive in the composite image. They then represent, in a sense, the full nature of humanity — body, soul and spirit. Objects resurrected, perhaps.