Eleanor Macnair doesn’t sleep well. However, her loss of sleep is definitely our gain. She got the idea to amuse herself in the wee hours by reproducing other photographers’ work in Play-Doh. She took pictures of each of her Play-Doh sculptures and put them up on Tumblr and Instagram, thinking they would only ever entertain herself, her friends, and her few followers. But the idea caught the attention of art lovers and galleries alike. Now, she’s published one book of photos with another in the works, and her work is blowing up social media. I recommend you check out her very entertaining Instagram and Tumblr accounts. Her Instagram account also includes photos of some of her works in progress, which I found particularly intriguing.
Her process sounds deceptively simple:
“The images are produced late at night using Play-Doh, a chopping board, a highball glass as a rolling pin and a blunt Ikea knife. Each photograph takes 1-2 hours to reproduce, paring the image down to just form and colour, before being shot the next morning then disassembled back into the Play-Doh pots. The works themselves no longer exist and the Play-Doh is reused for future renderings, so these photographs are all that remain.” –Photography Now
I was initially kind of bummed that the sculptures are destroyed after they’ve been photographed, but I guess it makes sense. Play-Doh isn’t meant to last forever. And maybe the ephemeral quality of the work adds to its mystery. Enjoy!