Discarded Innocence: Fausta Facciponte

28 Mar

I have a feeling that I held on to my childhood dolls longer than most young girls.  I think I may have been almost thirteen before I finally stopped playing with them, although my favorites still held a place of honor in my room while I was young.  Those were the symbols of childhood that I couldn’t bear to part with.  I never wanted to forget the countless hours of play and joy those plastic babies had brought me.  In her Doll series, Canadian artist Fausta Facciponte, confronts us with imagery of the forgotten dolls of our childhood, reminding us of the innocence we’ve left behind.

Peter, archival pigment print ( via Stephen Bulger Gallery )

When we’re young, many of our toys teach and shape who we may eventually become.  Dolls seem especially important to teach children how to care and nurture.  How many times have you “personified” a doll so that a child will know to be gentle with a baby?  I can vividly recall a niece swinging a doll by her hair..

Shirley From Ebay, archival pigment print ( via Stephen Bulger Gallery )

We dress and undress them, feed them plastic food, bathe them, swaddle and cuddle them.  But as we mature, we reach a point where we realize that it is all pretend.  That caring for a real baby is much more work, much more complicated.  As we transition from childhood, perhaps we realize that the doll play mimics a much more scary reality.

Emme, archival pigment print

So we put away the childish toys, discarding them as infantile.  But maybe what we are really putting out of our prepubescent minds is the inevitable reality of growing up and being faced with the actuality of the world we were playing and preparing for.

Emma For $1.15, archival pigment print ( via Stephen Bulger Gallery )

Walter For $5.00, archival pigment print ( via Stephen Bulger Gallery )

To see more of Fausta Facciponte’s work, please visit her website.  Are there any childhood toys that were touchtones for your transition from childhood to the adult world?

Featured image is Peter by Fausta Facciponte, archival pigment print. Images are via Stephen Bulger Gallery.

7 Responses to “Discarded Innocence: Fausta Facciponte”

  1. dewvintage March 28, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    I love this post. great work 🙂

    • Lesley March 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

      Thanks for visiting, Rosalind!


  2. greenegirl99 March 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    I love dolls. I have to be straight up. I think every one has a little girl inside of them who has a fancy for dolls. Dolls are just so pretty and very calming to be honest. I remember when I was about five or six my parents got the this big Winnie The Pooh baby doll set, complete with everything you need to ‘care for a baby’. I remember that the set was recalled and i was devastated to not have my doll anymore.

    Then a few years ago when i on my eleventh birthday they got me an american girl doll. Now Bella now sits on a shelf over my closet waiting till’ my younger sister is old enough to play with her :/

    • Lesley March 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

      Loved hearing your doll memories! A few of my favorites from childhood have been passed down to my nieces, who now cherish them as much as I did.


      • pennyoz March 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

        I remember when I was in primary school during the 80’s, all my girl friends had a Cabbage Patch doll each and they use to all bring them to school. They’d all play with their dolls during lunch time and I was so jealous I didn’t have one to join in on the fun. I begged and begged mum to get me a doll but she couldn’t afford it. She also told me how ugly the dolls were.

        Christmas time later that year, grandma bought my cousin Amy and I a Cabbage Patch doll each and I was so delighted. I couldn’t wait to get the doll out of her package and start playing with her instantly. Eleanor Katrina was her name and I sent away for the adoption papers. Because mum could see how much I loved that doll, she no longer saw the dolls as ugly. I think she still has the doll somewhere and I don’t think she could ever part with it.

        The following year I started high school and turned 12. I made new friends and told one of my friends about Eleanor. Oh my friend told me dolls were for babies and really taunted me over it for ages. After that I never mentioned that doll again but secretly I loved her and still had her sitting up in my bedroom. I even brought Eleanor with me when I moved out of home and started University :). Eleanor has now moved back home with mum (or grandma should I say? lol)

        Yes in teenage years, you don’t look at dolls as a baby? Its just a silly toy for babies to play with. I don’t think I ever saw Eleanor as just a toy or an object. In my mind, she’d had a little personality of her own. As I grew into a teenager, I didn’t really play with the doll anymore like I did when I was younger, but I couldn’t part with her.

        Today, in Australian schools, as a part of the school curriculum, teenagers are given a computerized baby dolls for a few days where they have to learn how to look after it : such as feeding, burping, putting it to bed, comfort to its crying, changing its nappy, etc. They are also are expected to carry the baby everywhere in a baby captual and that means they have to take it on public transport, on outings with friends, etc. The teen must never leave the baby unattended on its own, carry it by its head or throw it around, etc and if they do, the computer in the baby sends a message back to the teacher to tell them that the student isn’t taking proper care of the baby. This baby is to not only teach the teen about caring for a baby, but also to prevent teenage pregnacy and to educate them about the responsibilities of a baby. Once a teen gets pregnet, they have no time for a social life.

        Interesting topic! I still love dolls and I’m almost 40!

        • Lesley March 28, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

          Loved hearing your own experience, very similar to mine. Our family couldn’t afford a “real” Cabbage Patch doll when they were all the rage so my dear grandmother actually made one for me. At the time, of course, I would have preferred a real CP, and did eventually get one. But now, the doll my grandmother lovingly crafted with her own hands just for me is so much more precious.

  3. pennyoz March 28, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    Yes, having grandma make you the doll would be so much more precious than having the real CP doll. When you’re a child, it wouldn’t seem like that, but once you are older, you realise the amount of love, time and effort your grandma put into it just for you. No one else in the world has a doll like that!

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