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In order to research for the Alice in Wonderland brief, and the 12 Dancing Princesses brief i have created for myself i wanted to see some primary examples of sets and childhood objects that will hopefully inspire some of the make believe worlds i intend to create within my work. The Museum of Childhood- Ran by the V&A is hosting an exhibition of dolls houses. Its called “Small Stories” and it intends to reveal the stories behind some of the UK’s most beautiful doll houses, it shows 12 doll houses from the last 300 years. Each display showed the doll houses, with a button for each doll in the house to start telling the story of what it was like to live in the house, this was lovely for the children and also there was a button to turn on the lights. It was the illumination of these doll houses that really blew me away, the detail in each room really draws you in and its this kind of life like atmosphere that i’d like to create in my illustrations.

“The exhibition encompasses country mansions, the Georgian town house, suburban villas, newly-built council estates and high-rise apartments. The houses will also show developments in architecture and design.

Many of the houses, their furniture and dolls have been specially conserved for the exhibition, with around 1,900 objects being restored over two years in the V&A conservation department. There will be a chance to see more of the Museum of Childhood’s extensive collection of dolls’ houses in the permanent galleries, where a further 20 will be displayed.”

I really enjoyed this exhibition, and i also looked around the whole museum and the feel of nostalgia was unbelievable and really interesting. I saw a range of objects and toys, some from the Victorian times and older and particularly some amazing paper Theater’s and Chinese villages made from jade! I can to this exhibition to gather inspiration and ideas for the sets and scenes i would like to create in my illustrations for my FMP, i also looked at characters and dolls for ideas on how to create my characters and i’ve come away with lots of ideas! also i saw some books in their book shop that looked very interesting that i may purchase for further research 🙂 below are photos from the exhibition and some scanned sketchbook pages of observational drawings.

museum of childhood 1

there was also a collection of doll house individual rooms made by contemporary artists and some were amazing and really inventive!!! 😛

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these were some of my favorite rooms! i love how inventive the artists have been with the colour schemes and the handmade furniture and accessories. The favorite of them all is the one with the bear, you really feel like your in the bear characters living room with all of the little touches like honey pots and bear related books, i think its atmosphere and scenes like this that tell a story in a magical way, that i saw alot of children in the exhibition really enjoying studying for quite long periods of time and talking to the characters.

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