The Heritage Collection

It’s been a long and short year. The hurry is for something good to happen and the slow part of it is that things are pretty much the same. You get what I’m saying? It’s been busy and while I don’t see much difference now, things are different.

I have opened my store, which can be located at StudioTosh. I haven’t made a comic in quite some time and I do plan to have The Dolls bid you happy holiday cheer. The studio is in a state of flux right now and I can’t begin to work in it.

I did manage to finally complete this doll and she’s the third in what I call The Heritage Collection. I’m still working out kinks on the website, so there could be some traces of the collection being under another name.

This particular doll is called Brave. Though, let me explain The Heritage Collection to you. It was inspired by the social movement of the 60s and into the 70s, drawing upon the Black Movement and the women of that era; what we were and because women were not justly seen as part of the plight for African Americans at that time, we were brave in standing our ground in claiming what was rightly ours. The collection was also inspired by Maasai women; their tall stature, long jeweled necks and the  strength they also bring to their culture. It’s my tribute to women of both cultures and my growth in understanding how we have emerged and become empowered with the consciousness and spirit of who we are authentically.

I have a thing for 70s fashion; the flare legged slacks, crotchet vests, hooped earrings, colors, fabrics, etc. To reflect on fashion at that time, it all seemed flashy, hip and downright cool to me. I’m very conservative in dress but I can imagine I would’ve been dressed to the nines had I been old enough for that kind of flash.

Each doll, once purchased, comes with the chair she’s sitting on. With that and the story behind the collection, they become more than dolls. They become sculpted mixed media pieces that speak to a time and place of yesterday and where we are currently.

The recurring theme in this collection is strength, which is reiterated in the name of each doll. The chair, in context of the doll sitting on it can connote different meanings. I’ll let the viewer arrive at their own definition based on what I’ve already stated.

And here is Rebel. During her construction, I was thinking Black Panther Party after watching Sunday’s CBS Morning Show photo exhibit on TV. There are additional paraphernalia to add with the dolls, like books, Rebel’s black leather jacket and Brave’s matching yellow jacket to complete their ensemble. If you have ever seen the photograph of Huey P. Newton sitting on the wicker chair and armed with weaponry in each hand, that image inspired Rebel.

Pride is what I call the image below. For people who were disenfranchised and made to feel less than, African American people had to raise their esteem and away from what was put in front of them as standards of beauty. Black women arrived at a new consciousness, which has evolved over time, sometimes toward extreme means that says little about dignity or pride but screams ‘Look at me.’ Media platforms have changed and we’ve conformed to giving up pride for something quite the opposite in some respects. Look for more additions to this collection at StudioTosh.

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15 thoughts on “The Heritage Collection

  1. These are so beautiful! I especially love Pride. She is so poised and confident.
    I know that feeling of getting to the end of the year and feeling like everything is staying the same even though you’ve been doing tons of stuff — was just having that conversation with some creative friends yesterday. It must be some universal thing for busy people!

    1. Thank you, Karen. It’s that treadmill syndrome. It’s always about trying to get more work produced. The second part of that is marketing. I will, God willing, make work till the end of my time. You know, for artists there’s nothing left.

  2. OMG Tosh, your talent is endless! These dolls are fierce!!! If I was black and had money (instead of pasty white and barely eking out existence on pensions) I’d buy ALL your stuff!!!! And I lived thru that era; Angela Davis is who your last orange-jacketed doll reminds me of. You should have first-rate representation, I mean an agent who can get you high-level PR coverage, and galleries where you can exhibit your work. I wish I knew someone but don’t. HOWEVER i have a daughter-in-law in NY with some pretty high-powered friends. Want me to ask for names??

    1. Thank you. You don’t have to be black but I do understand being on a fixed income. I’d love it if you bought all my stuff. I’d just call and let you know whenever I had more stuff to buy. About those high profile folk, wouldn’t mind a good connection at all. Hey, hook a sis up down here and no more eking out from that pension. You scratch my back and yours will never itch, okay?

          1. Well sad to say, she said she doesn’t anyone who could do something for you. I’m not giving up, though. Where do you live, Tosh?

          2. Yep, mighty sad indeed. On the bright side, I have more to add to my portfolio and then, who knows…I live in Georgia. You know, down in the south, outside of Atlanta. Your help is very much appreciated.

          3. Thank you again. Yep, Ms. Georgia Peach, I am. Been feeling a tad lemony today. How I do like blogging and making art to escape. 🙂

          4. Sure is. And I’m escaping into my house from the cold ALL weekend, hopefully to make some art.

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