Enchanted Doll contest guess #1

9 years, 8 months ago 72

Like I mentioned before, there were three contestants who’ve actually guessed my current projects. It felt weird; as if these people were peering into my soul. Here is guess number one, made by Noxy. This is her entry.

And this one is my current project: Domestic Abuse.


Although our concepts are a little bit different, the theme of captivity and abuse are shared. In my project this captivity is emotional and figurative, while in Noxy’s proposal it is physical and literal, with a bit of a kinky slant.

Noxy, you get a little gift for guessing this doll!

I wasn’t going to show her until much later when she is finished and costumed, but when I saw your proposal, I thought it was a sign from the universe to unveil and expedite this project.

Actually, once I had taken this photo, I became really disturbed by it, as it reminded me of the infamous murder and crime scene of  Black Dahlia. It was unintentional on my part.

My doll is not supposed to be dead; just battered by her abusive, controlling and jealous husband. It’s still in progress. I’m deciding what kind of costuming would me most appropriate for a message of awareness. It’s scary for me to think that there are many, many men in this world who objectify women as if they are only dolls to be possessed by them and shared with no one.

Well, on that note: Guessed project number 2 is coming up.

72 Responses

  1. Jayne says:

    Wow, that is one amazing and incredibly moving doll! I worked in ICU and operating theatre for years and those bruises and cuts look incredibly realistic.
    Again, you are confronting a disgusting and horrendous situation that is faced by women the world over, in the way you do best….Your art.
    Also, the fact that she is not yet strung really emphasises the effect of a ‘broken woman’.

  2. MissLK says:

    This is very emotionally charged that just looking at the unstrung doll is already heart breaking.

    From Surviving to this doll… it looks like another ED exhibition of a very powerful theme will be coming?

    ps. Do people work on telephathy nowadays?! Congrats, noxy!

  3. Jon Songserm says:

    It’s so amazing details.

    the impact of hurt sometime make different, but still hurt inside.

    I love your concept and aim inside the progress.

  4. noxy says:

    Win for me! When you’d written that some folks guessed your current project, I immediately assumed it wasn’t one of mine, but there we are! I obviously like your take better though. Hee. Can’t wait to see more of her. <3

  5. Eiko says:

    Very interesting doll concept. I’m sure that this doll will make a lot of people stop and think about this issue, just like Surviving did.

    I don’t think she needs any costuming. Domestic abuse isn’t glamorous or pretty. It shouldn’t be decorated by a costume or jewellery. People should see it for what it is.

    I noticed that you often use your dolls to address certain issues that affect women (abuse, cancer, objectification of women, etc.). But you never use your male dolls to address issues that affects them. For example, domestic abuse isn’t limited to women. Men suffer from it too but it’s not as widely documented ’cause society seems to think that men can’t possibly abused. Would you ever consider using your art to address issues that affect men? Or do you prefer focussing on women issues?

  6. Marina says:


    Your question made me stop and think. It has been so long since I had made a male doll. You’re right, Eiko, perhaps I should make an abused male doll too.
    The thing is, seeing how I’m not a man, I don’t want to be pretentious and try to address male issues I can not truly grasp. I would hate to be insincere with my work.

    One thing is certain though: I should make a male doll soon.

  7. Habox says:

    The poor small woman…
    But sometimes I think that a victim are guilty in the tortures.
    And too are accustomed a victim as their person beating is accustomed to beat…

    Oh, the idea with the men – great.

  8. Habox says:

    To be a victim it as test or punishment after which you perish or you pass to a new step of development.

  9. Habox says:

    It’s very interesting and made my brain work: I think Ophelia of William Shakespeare is also a victim somehow.

  10. Candice says:

    Shakespeare’s Ophelia was certainly a victim, of course, she took her own life, but the story is always deeper than how it ends.

    Marina, I am in absolute awe of your work, once again. I respect you so much for really “putting-it-all-out-there”. There were comments on a previous post about a dolls’ ability to be played with and posed, I don’t believe that this is what your dolls are meant for. They are a vessel to carry these ideas away in. If a design makes a doll difficult to pose, perhaps therein lies a point needed to be made by the piece.

    You inspire me to also “go there” in my own work. I certainly push the envelope of comfort but when I get too many negative comments about my subject choice, I pull back. You inspire me to push forward with the ideas in my mind. Thank you. Thank you for putting yourself out there for everyone to immerse themselves into.

    I love, love, love this concept. Bringing such disturbing imagery and subject matter to a medium that is traditionally very beautiful and perfect. I take my hat off to you.

  11. Amal says:

    Maybe if she were costumed, it could be that her injuries would only be visible when unclothed? Sometimes it’s disturbing to think of how many injuries can go unnoticed. In the UK, for example, it’s lawful to hit a child to the extent that it not leave a mark. But, not all abuse leaves a mark… or, in some cases, hidden parts of the body are deliberately targeted.

    Congrats noxy!!! :0)

  12. KarolinFelix says:

    What I like more and more about your work Marina is that it addresses the psychological and physical issues of life…. Such as not many doll artists would dare to show.

    I feel that your work have an activist sort of effect.. and make people think more about such problems..

    I would love to see a doll called ANOREXIA, a protest to the psychological effect that media has on women from this century… If I had time to draw more entries for the contest, that would be my second one <:
    I see many anorexia’s on the street nowdays….

  13. Jayne says:

    Amal, your comment was particularly true. When a child comes into A&E, signs of abuse that are immediately suspicious are body bruises. This is because children frequently bruise arms, legs & heads (they fall over and run into things), but it is really hard to bruise the body as they are generally protected by body fat.
    Abuse may not always leave a PHYSICAL mark, but all abuse leaves a mark of some kind.
    I like your idea of clothing that covers the abuse. Loose tops, sunglasses, long sleeves. I can see her in baggy sweat pants and a long sleeved sloppy joe. You can’t see the marks, but they are there, underneath……where she hides everything.
    Marina, I’m sorry about the rambling, but this is so important.

  14. J. David McKenney says:


  15. Amal says:

    Exactly, Jayne, it’s not always physical but when it is, it’s often hidden. Even in the library I’ve been approached before by women asking for help. Help finding a refuge and such. You otherwise wouldn’t realise anything was wrong, except for the tears in their eyes.

  16. Orangey says:

    “One thing is certain though: I should make a male doll soon.” I’ve been campaigning for this for quite some time. I’ll look forward to seeing what you come up with.

    KarolinFelix: I wonder how you would make an ED’s body even thinner than it is now.. Maybe by blushing/shading the body one could create the appearance of anorexia on an ED. Revealing the bones of the ribcage, etc.

  17. Random says:

    OR… she could make a metal ribcage torso… :D

  18. Kate says:

    I absolutely agree with Amal, about clothing (or make-up) hiding the extent of abuse, because some women aren’t ready yet to end the abuse. What if for this doll, her only garment is a hospital gown? This would indicate that she has sought help… thus giving us HOPE that she is ending the cycle of abuse.

    This would link her strongly to what seems like a new series of yours, including the breast cancer doll where you have embraced the mastectomy, which to me is a very powerful and hopeful thing. I respect that you approach these hard issues, and I feel like your victim dolls have a silent strength. Even the Chinese women with bound feet. I think that the miscarriage doll that you showed sketches of would be a great addition to this series…

    I also want to say to everyone here, I follow many blogs but rarely post, and this is the first time I’ve felt comfortable with a blog community to share my thoughts, and so inspired as well – by Marina and her fans – that I have something I want to share. Thank you all!

  19. KarolinFelix says:

    Orangey.. I was thinking about a tatoo.. bones & bones…. but just on the body parts that you can hide under a normal clothes… cause that’s how it’s done. So simiar with the abuse victims….

    The metal body parts could work, but I’m not sure how you could spring the doll that is a skeleton…

  20. Marcia says:

    Interesting discussion. I enjoy that.
    I have found that often, ideas are simultaneous, like my husband will invent something in his head that would make a job easier. He may even design it on paper and make a “jig” or prototype, and then, sure enough, within a year… That same idea has ben made and marketed.
    I have also had several similar ideas as are shown in the contest. It’s just that we are all on a similar wavelength and are thinking in similar themes starting with dolls, which does tend to narrow it down.

  21. Marina you are also a makeup artiste,incredibly realistic. Did I understand right that you took this photo! Where were you and how long ago was this! Thats enough to trouble anyone.

    I like Kate’s ideal of a hospital gown. Sorry to say this hits home.Abusive relationships are self destructing.

  22. As for the neck you have it right on, the men do take their 2 hands right to the neck which gives it the ring around her neck. Also a ring around the arm, near the elbow.
    Ok time for me to move on bad memories.

  23. Astera says:

    Somehow it was easier for me to look at Surviving than at Domestic Abuse. The desperation in her eyes is palpable, the bruises all over her body disturbing. It’s really sad to think that so many of us end up in damaging relationships from which is so difficult to excape . A few years ago a student got killed by a vilent ex-boyfriend. It was awful,expecially because nobody was aware that she had been in such a horrifying situation. Once again, Marina, you call our attention on issue that we are too fearful, too sheltered, or too distracted to confront.
    Looking forward to seeing this girl completed.
    Noxy…brava (essentially for the same reasons I just listed and also for being so well attuned with Marina’s mind)!

  24. Astera says:

    …and sorry for the bad spelling, as usual! :p

  25. Orangey says:

    Christiane: Terrible, just terrible.

    The more I think about it, the more I think some sort of costume could be very effective. A doll with no scars visible to the naked eye, until unveiled to show the disturbing aftermath of abuse that lies beneath the costume/dress.

    I’ll wait to see the finished doll, we’re missing the ‘hopeful’ aspect that your dolls like this usually carry.

  26. Scars and bruises will eventualy heel and disapear,but the verbal abuse that goes with it can take years, some a life time to over come.
    You are left feeling worthless. Your selfworth is gone. There is so much more than what meets the eyes.

  27. shane says:

    Habox wrote: sometimes I think that a victim are guilty in the tortures.

    Sadly, those sorts of ideas are all too common. They are also, and always, wrong.

    No victim ever deserves violence. And no victim should ever feel guilty or responsible for receiving it.

    Christiane (Quebec) wrote: Did I understand right that you took this photo!

    No, Marina meant that after she took the photo of the *doll* that she used in this post, it reminded her of that other historical photo. Here’s some more information about Elizabeth Short, the murdered woman in that black-and-white photo:

    (As for your other comments: I am so sorry. I have no words.)

  28. Mari says:

    It is so strange to compare two dolls, Surviving and Abuse… There are two Women, both suffering so much. But… while one of them hopes to live for (at least) awhile, the other one probably is beginng for death, after what she has came through… Marina, do you agree? Anyway she bares very strong and impressive message. Oh, sorry for my english… again! ;-D

  29. Candice says:

    Your “Black Dahlia” link did not last long. I saw it yesterday, but it is removed now.

  30. Larisa says:

    The link was removed because it’s show horrible photo of the murdered body of Elisabeth Short. I am not understand the meaning of this doll. For me it’s looks very frightful and ugly, sorry.

  31. Habox says:

    I meant:
    these things occur because people don’t want to bear responsibility for and don’t understand importance of education of children (an individual approach to education).

    They wait for rescue from others and don’t love itself.

    As to me: it is better to struggle and win, than to suffer.

  32. Habox says:

    And certainly it is fault of capitalist system too. But the system is created and supported by people is the closed system.

  33. Shane thank you for the explanation…merci

    Im in some what agreeing to Habox, you do have a choice to make you can stay or leave. I left after 2 years nothing could be done to change and help him(he wanted no help). We do have to understand the men or anyone for that matter who is violent is suffering. Children who bully them selves are in pain. Don’t get me wrong there are some born twistted people out there. Usually these aggressors have horrible back stories. Marina we are in therapy….Merci

  34. Marina says:

    Larisa, this is my blog and nobody has the access to remove it but me. I’ll see why it broke and put it back up. The server hosting the image must be down. I’ll find another. It is all over internet after all.

    If you read what I wrote about this doll, you will understand that it has nothing to do with Black Dalhia, it just looked like it when posed for the shot.

    Besides, Elizabeth Short’s murder is also an example of violence against women, so I suppose it’s not altogether irrelevant, I guess.

    When art speaks about ugly social issues, it can reflect that ugliness too. I’m glad it comes through.

  35. shane says:

    Marina: It’s true that you control the links in your blog posts, but that image was originally hosted elsewhere, and it was most likely removed because it was clearly against the terms of service of that image-hosting site. If you’d like to avoid that in the future, I’d suggest that you read the TOS of any other host that you use beforehand. (Including, of course, the one you use to host enchantedddoll.com.)

    Habox and Christiane: Thank you both for your sharing your perspectives here. Yes, I agree – and you’re right, it’s crucially important to point out – that victims of violence do have choices (unless they’re also physically locked away), but that verbal assault, which so often comes along with physical violence, is what makes people feel worthless, helpless, and as if they don’t have any of those choices. And yes, it’s also true that there are broader social and cultural factors that affect the problem, too.

    I imagine that if we were able to sit around a table and discuss this in person, it would be a lot easier to understand each other’s experiences, beliefs, and perspectives; to discover all the ways that we agree; and to respectfully acknowledge and account for any differences that we might have. But that’s much harder to do with just short (and easy to misinterpret) comments in a blog…and already I feel that I’m doing too much talking, when I’d rather just be listening and learning.

    So for that reason, I’m going to step away from the conversation now. Feel free to continue it without me, of course! And again, thank you both. :)

  36. Ok Shane my house at 14:00 for tea or wine….loll I think Marina’s fans are all around the world so not possible and my house is not that big…..Wouldn’t that be a treat getting to meet up with Marina and the fans…whooop! :)

  37. maria soares says:

    Dear Marina, very emotive doll….yes is true what you said about abusiing, but you must see the real images from Mutilation….afaganistan woman that have been mutilated by their husbands!

  38. iki says:

    It’s truth that domestic abuse is a problem who actually is winning force, i just have one problem with this doll, that is a recurring theme in Marina dolls,her face, all very sad dolls, even in surviving the doll was not happy, just a little bit chipper, but marina is kinda stocking in her own same theme( sad dolls), i am not saying that her dolls be all sad, but they are not what we can call “happy”, in the case of surviving i would like to she the metastasis doll instead of double mastectomy doll , it would be a more revitalizing and realistic to see a doll who is almost dieing, but still have the strenght to show a smile, accepting that she is going to get death , and just enjoing the last time she have of life,, because even surviving is a doll who awake hope in the viewers, that hope could be fake, and for me will be more important if the message be” ohh what a fuck i am going to die, I will enjoy the last thing left of my life, i will live one life, in a minute of hapiness”.
    Marina doll eyes are very beautiful, but the mouth….

  39. I understand your point iki, but for me this is what attracks me to her dolls, the not seeing there teeth(smile). Strangely I found in all my drawings not wanting to do a smile. For me it has a whimsical mystical feel. Its hard to put it in words, the feeling is soully within.

  40. O-ran-gee says:

    I hope to never click the Black Dahlia link.

    Iki, you know what, I agree about this doll, her face is depressing and sad. I wonder how she would look with a strong, determined, beaten-but-still-living look. Not necessarily a happy look, but not a victim’s look either.

    But either way, this is Marina’s art, and she just gravitates toward certain types of looks for her dolls, she doesn’t make happy dolls very much/ever.

    Marina, I think Larisa was saying the bruising is ugly, which goes without saying. Indeed nobody would think the bruises and cuts are beautiful. The doll itself is very pretty.

  41. Habox says:

    how it’s interesting: all problems lay down uder problem of сommunications problem; people speak, but don’t discuss or don’t listen each other.

    As to my opinion on ideal creativity: it is necessary to give to the author full freedom if you want to see the following stage of creativity. – I do not know, how much it is real to do…

  42. Larisa says:

    I agree with you O-ran-gee, the doll itself is very beautiful, but the scars is so bad, they are very realistic. I hope to never click the link too. Very fearful photo.

  43. O-ran-gee says:

    What’s that link, Habox? I’d click on it but I’m paranoid of seeing dead bodies right now. =P

  44. Habox says:

    No-no, it’s funny pic ^=).

  45. comiccake says:

    非常欣赏!赞!!!!!GOOD PIC!

  46. Annarchy says:

    I just keep coming back to look at this girl, so I have to add my voice to the chorus. While I agree that a costume like the hospital gown to give some semblance of change and hope and would be nice in the traditional “happy ending” way, but I don’t know if it would be the best way to present her. In my personal opinion, she would create a stronger impression dressed as others have suggested in baggy clothing and sunglasses but displayed surrounded by old style Polaroid photos of her injuries and a hospital admittance paper listing the cause of her injuries as “fell down stairs” since that’s such a classic cover-up. This would definitely make her more of a “Statistic” than a “Survivor” but so many women are never able to break the cycle. Thank you for being brave enough to make dolls like this.

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  49. TFisch says:

    I think with this doll, the posing would be more important than clothing. I would expect something like Ron Mueck’s work. A lot of the posing done with your dolls is open and “bashful” or “prey like” and really showing that weight and kinda the force in holding up your own body after events like that would seem really important. Maybe even sculpting in swollen bruises. I would almost expect to never see the face of the doll.

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  66. A Survivor says:

    From those of us who survived this kinda thing, at least from me, I would love to have one that looks like me, to remind myself how far I have come. I’m fair while this one is darker.

  67. A Survivor says:

    I would love to see this one in jeans and a tee shirt, maybe a sweatshirt, something everyday women wear, to show that this happens to us all.

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