Artist em­braces her baby-faced hobby

South Waikato News - - Property - TAMARA THORN

Toko­roa woman Anne Buck­ley has taken her art to the next level by cre­at­ing ul­tra-re­al­is­tic dolls.

Buck­ley said she makes the ‘‘re­born dolls’’ be­cause it was a way to im­prove her art skills but many other peo­ple made them to sell.

Over the past three years Buck­ley said she has made 29 re­born dolls, some which are the same starter kit.

‘‘There are mil­lions around and every sin­gle one of them, de­spite be­ing the ex­act same kit, look to­tally dif­fer­ent.’’

She said that is what makes a re­born doll dif­fer­ent from any other factory made doll.

She said ‘‘A lot of artists I know do cus­tom work,’’ which Buck­ley said is too stress­ful.

She said there are many rea­sons why peo­ple have these dolls but ’’For me it’s an art, it’s a hobby,’’ she said.

They are adult dolls and not for kids, how­ever some artists make them child friendly.

‘‘Some peo­ple lit­er­ally treat them like ba­bies, you know: dress them, un­dress them, put them in py­ja­mas, pre­tend to feed them with a bot­tle that doesn’t ac­tu­ally feed.’’

Al­though Buck­ley said con­stant con­tact with the doll will make the paint wear off, as they are ‘‘a col­lectable doll and an art doll.’’

How­ever, Buck­ley do­nated one of her dolls to the Vic­to­ria de­men­tia unit in Toko­roa, where the res­i­dents treat it like a real baby.

‘‘The el­derly and de­men­tia pa­tients in par­tic­u­lar think they are real and they get a lot of com­fort from them.’’

She said other peo­ple just col­lect them and have rooms full of re­born dolls, and other peo­ple sell them as an artist would.

‘‘Some peo­ple have rooms full of them, ceil­ing to floor.’’

Buck­ley doesn’t usu­ally sell her dolls but said she has no con­nec­tion or bond to them as some peo­ple do. To her they are a piece of art­work.

Buck­ley said that she will soon be tak­ing a break from mak­ing the re­born dolls as it is be­com­ing too ex­pen­sive as it costs roughly $200-$300 per doll to make.

She said it is also very ‘‘Time con­sum­ing’’ as it takes about two weeks of con­stant, hard work, seven hours a day to com­plete.

‘‘Every artist will give you a dif­fer­ent time frame...but usu­ally about a week and a half to two weeks.’’

TAMARA THORN / FAIR­FAX NZ

Anne Buck­ley and her re­al­is­tic re­born dolls

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