The Inbetween Place


So I imagine that you’re going to read this blog, and you may think I am off-kilter by the end, but I say these dolls are genius! I’ve seen the Little Apple Dolls for a few years in these bizarre boxes on the shelves of Spencer’s Gifts. Somehow they’ve always caught my eye, and I always check to see if the store has any, but I’ve never bought one. I would always seem to forget the name of the dolls when I got home, so alas, I could never look up the name of them. All I knew is that they had porcealin white skin (which, for the record, I hate porcealin dolls normally), hollow asian holes where there should be eyes, and no mouth. Creepy, no? Well my friends, I have a lust for stuff like this. I don’t really know why, but I have been interested in bizarre things like this since I was little (I absolutely LOVED Beetlejuice, I wanted to be Lydia). I’ve managed to collect a lovely 18″ Edward Scissorhands figure and some of the Final Fantasy Characters (Lulu!), the alice figure from the video game American McGee’s Alice, characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas, and a few from The Corpse Bride. I have a thirsty interest in the stranger side of life. (Don’t fret, Spongebob Squarepants sits with my books along with Beaker from The Muppets.) Now that you all know what a huge nerd I am (bookworm AND action figures?!), let’s talk about how sweet these dolls are.

I finally managed to remember the name, “Little Apple Dolls” after a visit to Spencer’s Gifts with my boyfriend. Somehow today I managed to recall this information, and with nothing else to do today I spent the afternoon researching how these odd dolls came to be.
Apparently this female artist, Ufuoma Urie created photograph projects using dolls that explored myths to do with creation and destruction.The symbol of the wounded, “pin-cushion” apple as an inanimate object who is capable of showing emotion as hero/saviour/sacrifice began to feature prominently in narratives the artist had written. As a symbol in myth, fairytale and religious texts, the apple has represented temptation: an alluring yet tainted object not appearing as it seems: that which is desired which ultimately unsettles those who come into contact with it.

The apple developed a persona in its own right, acting as protector of souls and guardian to the children or rather the hand-crafted child sized dolls. The dolls are a visual combination of foetus/toddler and skeleton. Their faces are not fully formed. They are without key facial features which may render them monstrous yet they are creatures of beauty. They look the way they do because they inhabit the place in between life and death. They are meant to represent a border: they are not dead but they certainly are not alive. One would imagine that each doll character has had a similar experience to the Little Girl in the main story and has ended up in between places.

I got to reading this intense story of a lonely girl who ends up dying of a mysterious sickness and lives in a place between life and death, the “inbetween place.” Fascinating! There is a story for each little girl. Most involve myth and magic, and all involve death…being stuck between life and death. I read each carefully crafted story and I was hooked! There are stories about everything from a little girl eating a demon from the inside of his stomach after he consumes her to a lonely girl forced to kill herself to save her own soul. What imagination! There is one particularly intense story of twin girls who represent creation and destruction, who end up killing each other in an attempt to regain balance in the world. There’s lots of Greek and Japanese mythology to these tales.
I love when I find really creative things!

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3 Responses to “The Inbetween Place”


  1. 1 Xrayeagle January 24, 2006 at 6:34 am

    Man, you are a nerd. And those dolls succeed in creeping me out.

    Don’t forget you gave you 18 inch Eddie!

    You think I want to brag but I actually just wanted to make a penis joke.

    Ah, you are a nerd and I am a classless hudlum.

  2. 2 Joe January 24, 2006 at 3:01 pm

    You gave someone an 18 inch Eddie? You’re a better man than me, xray…

    Thanks for sharing this, L. I’ll have to check these dolls out. They sound interesting.

  3. 3 Okami January 24, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    Ooh – I want! So eerily beautiful!

    Not to mention the little twinge of envy I’m feeling that you have American McGee’s Alice…


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