“Souvenir Doll, Gowanus” by Julie Mardin

Archival ink jet on canvas
13 x 15 inches
Price: $350.00

I have used toys in my work for many years. I find that it helps to approach difficult issues and what feel like daunting problems. This image grew out of a series that photo collages souvenir dolls in and around New York, the city I was born and grew up in, celebrating our diversity and our heritage, though oftentimes questioning what it is we consider progress. The location, a well known superfund site, illustrates the toxic legacy that many residential communities live with throughout the borough of Brooklyn. The doll and the various props celebrate the regenerative spirit I have seen in Bushwick, one that I imagine can only continue to strengthen, through its combination of art, science, sensual pleasures, and practical environmentalism. The souvenir doll also makes reference to the refugee crisis, making one wonder at the interconnections between resource wars and the spent state of our own backyard, and how studying both together could lead to synergistic solutions. I think this brings up another natural role for the Bushwick creative and ecological collectives, one that encourages more events and voices from these regions of conflict, as we are in the midst of the largest human displacement ever recorded, and there is such a big hole in our understanding from the main stream media.