Fausta Facciponte | Sleepy Eyes

22 September - 29 October 2011

Exhibition Dates: September 22 – October 29

Reception for the Artist: Saturday, September 24, 2-5pm


The gallery is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition of work by Fausta Facciponte. “Sleepy Eyes” is a series of doll portraits that explore the human condition as a ‘material thing’. Through the examination of objects - how they decay, how they are preserved, forgotten and passed along from one owner to the next - the work raises questions about the nature of our physical existence and our likeness to material goods.


In this series, old vinyl dolls that have been discarded by girls and boys are salvaged. The face of the doll is presented in the deadpan style of photography; the image is large scale, highly detailed, with a clean clinical approach. Believed to be the earliest known toy, dolls are objects that are usually associated with children and play, but these objects also represent the human form. Children often bestow a power into these objects - to be their keeper of secrets, confidant and protector. In many cases, these objects are an extension of the owner: a portrait of the inner self. By reclaiming used and inexpensive dolls from thrift stores, garage sales and online auctions, these discarded objects evoke a feeling of terminated love and abandonment.  Through this investigation, these works challenge and address our notions of representation and our existence through material objects.


‘Sleepy eyes’ is a term used to describe a doll with moveable eyes. The earliest ‘sleepy eyes’ from the 19th century used weights or wires and later on simpler mechanisms were developed. The open and shut eyes were developed to create more life-like dolls but the term also suggests the human need for sleep.

Facciponte graduated with a Honours degree in Fine Art from the University of Toronto in 1990. She has received various awards: the Toronto Image Works Award, the Talens Bursary Award and the D.L. Stevenson & Sons Artists Award. Facciponte’s work can also be found in the permanent collections of the McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton; Art Gallery of Peel, Brampton; Sheridan College Collection, Oakville; and many private collections.


This project was made possible by a grant received from the Ontario Arts Council.