Putting the Saints back into Christmas

Saint Bubs Saint hopper Saint Panda Saint Steve

There’s a great end of year exhibition of local arts opening this Friday at Stur Gallery + Store. After my show in October, I really wanted to present work that shows the territory I’m heading in and I’ve been playing around with this idea that the toys we had as kids are a kind of talisman, like a little saint that we held dear and prayed to.

I also liked the halos that are on saint’s heads in Renaissance paintings, so these works are a little bit of a hybrid of those things. These ones are quite small compared to the previous works but I wanted to have some simple versions that I could imagine would go on a nun’s wall above her bed.

These are all magical things for me as a child; a girl’s dolly, a Space Hopper, my panda teddy bear and the Steve Austin Six Million Dollar Man Action Figure with the bionic eye.

I thought the baby doll was a bit too cutesy, so I gave her some prison tattoos; the teardrop tattoo and five dots tattoo. Both those tatts have some really weird history behind them, check them out if you have time.

Here’s a little peek at Saint Steve in the making:

Saint Steve in the making

I’d love to hear about your childhood toy, whether you still have it and what it meant to you. Hit me up in the comments below.

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