In order to escape the weighty artistic legacy of St Ives and the seductive landscapes of Cornwall, Catharine Watkins has been studying childrens’ toys. In particular, females from the Bratz TM series of sexualised dolls, masks of the Overlord, weapons of the Underworld, toys produced with a theme for Halloween and the ubiquitous BarbieTM. Based in St Ives and Penzance, Watkins finds a plethora of subjects to study, draw and paint, in the two local Woolworth stores. Barbie is an ‘icon’ and powerful presence in her personal childhood and is remembered as an object of compelling desirability. Barbie also happens to be one of the most successful brands of the twentieth century.
source: Tate Catalogue