Stephanie Todhunter received a BA from Bowdoin College and did postgraduate work at the University of Minnesota. Her work was recently exhibited at the Kathryn Schultz, Maud Morgan, Galatea, and Abigail Ogilvy Galleries, and in the AREACODE Art Fair and Boston International Fine Art Show. She was awarded the Mozaik Future Art Award in 2020 by Mozaik Philanthropy Los Angeles and Artist of the Year 2017 by the Cambridge Art Association.
I started working on the latchkey kids in 2014. The backbone of the series is an ongoing succession of plaster encased vintage dolls, each re-colored and re-named. The plaster encased girls (reminiscent of Han Solo encased in carbonite) begin as vintage Dawn dolls from the 1970s. These dolls were only made for a brief amount of time and generally only remembered by the GenX generation. Dawn dolls are smaller than Barbies and, although they have exaggerated waspish waists and perky breasts, are tweenish in age. They were small, generic, easy to carry and easy to lose.
Once the dolls have been plastered and inked, they develop distinct and often unsettling features and personalities. I take a photographic portrait of each girl to capture and highlight these quirks. These portraits are used in larger pieces to tell stories about the lost girls. Common themes are isolation, stranger danger, missing children, parental neglect, and lord-of-the-flies-like adventure in small town suburbia. Most recently I've been working on a subset of the lost girls which plays with the themes of 1980s Christianity and apocalyptic thinking.