A Doll’s Life: ┬áThe Story of She

A photographic essay by visual Storyteller, Carolyn Campbell
Opening Reception on April 12, 2 – 5:00 p.m.
Cup Coffee Company, 7540 N Interstate Ave, Portland, OR 97217


Dolls have traditionally been used as talismans for the living and guardians for the dead.
They offer us a mirror of who we are and who we dream of becoming.

March 21, 2015 – Portland, OR – The opening reception for A Doll’s Life: The Story of She, a photographic essay by visual storyteller Carolyn Campbell, will be held on April 12, 2015 from 2 to 5:00 pm at Cup Coffee Company in northeast Portland. The reception includes performances by poet Renee Mitchell at 2:30 and music by lyricist and keyboardist Ali Ippolito at 3:15. The show runs through May 10th.

A Doll’s Life blurs the line between what is a doll and what is human. Some found, some donated by strangers, some borrowed from friends, the featured dolls are coupled with poetic aphorisms to expose the inner journeys women take to accept themselves in a culture that often diminishes their worth. Campbell’s metaphorical story, dark humor, and theatricality capture the eye and draw the viewer into the frame of each story. Her cast of characters in these surreal images includes a woman whose husband has dementia, a child longing to be seen for beauty over brokenness, and a woman who’s reading her way out of despair.

“The show is about me. It’s about friends and family. And it’s about women who have shared their stories with me,” Campbell says. The show began as a photographic essay of her own mother’s descent into the madness of Alzheimer’s featuring a treasured Shirley Temple doll, but quickly became much larger. As she told others about her project, women began to invite Carolyn into their own worlds, offering their own dolls – tucked into boxes or discarded in decaying places. All with a story to tell.

About the artist
Campbell’s double life as part artist and part excavator of the Soul is central to all her work. Whether she is working with people, as a leadership coach, or working with dolls, as an artist, she focuses her lens on opening the box of Self – the box we often keep tightly sealed to make sure that our world stays safe. Humbled by the stories of so many women who share their stories of becoming fully themselves and guiding their business or leading others, she exposes a Pandora’s box of doubt, confusion, compassion, and acceptance.

A Doll’s Life: The Story of She is an extension of Carolyn’s 30 years of experience with women around the world, including visionaries, rebels, inmates, executives, culture shifters, wives, and mothers. This show is an homage to women who have endured life’s darker moments to reveal the truth that demands to be lived.