Modern Worry Dolls by Renee Laferriere

Surgery (Worry doll) © Renee Laferriere

Surgery (Worry doll) © Renee Laferriere

Renee Laferriere‘s Worry Dolls are a “summation of our collective anxieties that we’ve never escaped, embodied in objects of obsession.” As physical manifestations of worry, the dolls take on the transfer of our worries.

Companionship (Worry doll) © Renee Laferriere

Companionship (Worry doll) © Renee Laferriere

Laferriere’s Worry Dolls are an update on the Guatemalan Worry Dolls her mother gave to her as a child. I had a set too. They looked like this. The box containing the Worry Dolls was small enough to fit in the closed palm of my hand, and I was supposed to tell one worry a piece to the 6 or so dolls inside. This was somewhat difficult, as I was a particularly worried child. When creating her series of dolls, Laferriere remarked that “Six tiny fragile dolls don’t seem to be enough anymore, not even for children, not in a world beset by global recession, war, AIDS, and lack of universal health care.” Sadly, she made that statement five years ago. Not even such specific stoneware Worry Dolls can help us now…

Loneliness (Worrydoll) © Renee Laferriere

Loneliness (Worry doll) © Renee Laferriere

The twelve worries depicted in Laferriere’s dolls are: health, trauma, death, fertility, lust, companionship, love, loneliness, hostility, time, aging and money. I’d bring it up to a baker’s dozen and add “Republicans”. Laferriere currently works as a piercer in Kansas City.

Health (Worrydoll) © Renee Laferriere

Health (Worry doll) © Renee Laferriere

Money (Worrydoll) © Renee Laferriere

Money (Worry doll) © Renee Laferriere