Artist Eleanor Macnair blends the mediums of photography and sculpture by remaking famous and striking photographs using the unconventional and greatly undervalued material that is Playdoh! Macnair takes iconic photos and sculpts them into life using this childhood favourite, but if you thought this was just a parody of the original then think again.
What seems like just a bit of silly fun with some brightly-coloured clay turns into complete and utter awe when you see the skill and precision involved in the transformation from photo to sculpture. The detail that Eleanor adds to her mouldings is astounding – the form and colour are perfect imitations of the original, but rendered in 3D these images take on a textual distinction that puts the familiar image in a new and alien context.
It’s slightly discombobulating on first glance to see these well-known images made strange by the doughy third dimension, but it’s a wonderful almost laugh-out-loud moment when you come across one of your all-time favourite photos (mine in this case being Georgia O’Keefe – Hands and Thimble by Alfred Stieglitz) and in the moment of recognition be absolutely floored by the likeness as well as the glorious technicolour that Eleanor renders it in.
Check out the video below to hear Eleanor talk about her work, or look through all on her website and see if you can spot your favourite photo reimagined in Playdoh, or find something new altogether!