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About : Helen Layfield - Artist based in Wellington, Somerset


I make fine art dolls.I consider them self portraits that explore personal and cultural identity and narrative. They are a source of self knowledge, healing and empowerment.

Doll making is effective and powerful due to the fact that a doll is three dimensional and figurative. It is not a big step to understand a doll as a version of oneself.

Dolls are in every society. They are symbolic, spiritual, educational, consoling and connecting. I use three elements in the process of making dolls.

Intuition, adhocism and meditation
These three elements within the doll making process allow for freedom.
There is no planning, no right or wrong, no end product, no set technique or methodology. you are fully present in the moment, in the exploration in the of making the doll.
Intuition is non conscious decision making.
Adhocism is using the materials that you have available at the time, to create something without structured techniques.
Stitch meditation is rhythmically stitching by hand. The rhythm of the stitch being your focal point in the meditation pract
This allows an emergence of self in an unprescribed manner - a journey not a destination. You will often hear doll makers say the doll told me what she wanted.

This of course is your subconscious directing the conscious and allowing the message to appear in the form of the doll.

Each doll teaches me something new. The expressions, postures, gestures reveal

emotions, feelings and elements that are intrinsicly personal.
Some are revealing
Some are healing.
Some are transformational
Some are empowering.

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