My work here is focused on Grief and Mourning. So why make a series of Dolls based on Victorian Murderesses, you ask? I'll be participating in the Darksome Craft Market's next show on May 14-16, Out of the Crypt. I don't do spooky, so Victorian Murderesses felt like the perfect point where my interests meet the aesthetic of the show.
I love all things Victorian. And the Victorians? They loved a scandalous lady. In an era when gender and social norms were rigidly dictated, it's no wonder that when a woman broke with convention, it got peoples attention. A murderous woman was titillating and scandalous. These complex women were reduced to macabre entertainment in the media.
My intent in recreating them is to tell their stories so that they can be seen, not just by their actions, but as whole people. So they can be lauded for forging their own paths, breaking social mores, and their determination to let nothing stand in their way. Even as we see their calculation, ruthlessness, and murderousness.
I hope that as you learn about each of them, you'll fall in love. That a Murderess will resonate with you, and that you can bring her home to rest her weary self in a safe place. Each of these ladies will come home with her weapon of choice, some will have a wee bottle of arsenic (these ladies Loved themselves some arsenic), or love letters, a box of chocolates, her wee axe.
Each of their stories will be posted here over the coming weeks
All of the Murderesses will be available through the website as part of the Darksome Craft Market show Out of the Crypt May 14-16.
Updates will go out to the mailing list, so hop on if you haven't already!
The Murderesses in the image are Lizzie Borden, Belle Gunness, Madeleine Smith and Mary Ann Cotton.