Doll Photographer

about Mariel Clayton

By using Barbie dolls and Japanese miniatures as her primary medium and subject, Mariel Clayton creates dioramic images full of details and black humour as a means of commentating on contemporary society and its stereotypes.

Born in Durban, South Africa, Mariel describes herself as a “Doll Photographer with a subversive sense of humour”. Inspired by current events, pop culture, music and even paper, her images are meant to be at the same time meaningful and meaningless, to be used as a conduit for interpretation by the viewer. She maintains that it is the viewers response and the thought process that leads to it which are the most important. At the very least, it is nothing more than an excuse for a good laugh.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the inner machinations of peoples minds. I’m intrigued by sociopathy and the whole outer facade/inner workings concept and how the two don’t always correspond.

I used Barbie as a prop before — being beheaded by Ninja Turtles etc. — because I never actively set out to develop this type of ‘style’ of pictures. The first one I did, with Barbie committing suicide in the tub, was more a visual ‘gag’ — something I thought was really funny.


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