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Art of the Day: Saturday October 08, 2005


- by Cynthia Gaub

This week's theme: Doll Art

Dolls are not just children's playthings. They find their way into many aspects of our life. We use them in religious rituals, for decoration, as totems and to personify aspects of our psyche and the natural world.

They can be realistic or abstractly representational but whatever form they take, we continue to create them for all of these reasons and more.

-Melissa Morton

Art: Delilah by Artist Cynthia  Gaub
Created for the SideShow But minutes too late for entry!

When this young girl was born deformed with three arms and an uncertain number of fingers, her parents were mortified. As was the custom of the time, they sold her to the Circus. The side show barker, known only as Dog Breath, took her in as his own. Finding clothing to fit a three-armed child is no easy matter, so Delilah grew accustomed to spending the warm summer days in the buff. Eventually the Fat Woman taught her to sew and she made her own body suits out of scraps of fabric she found in the towns they passed through. She was a quiet girl and rarely spoke. She learned to read with Dog Breath’s bible and the Sword Swallower’s First Aid book, so her views on life were rather skewed. The Circus is a strange world, and in it she seemed bland, even normal. Although seen as unusual and even abnormal due to her extra arm, she always found it quite handy. Dog Breath quickly discovered that having three arms was not enough to draw a crowd. Since he was a tattoo artist by trade, he began to cover her delicate skin with an intricate weaving of ink. Being a deeply religious man, his first tattoos were calligraphy renderings of biblical text. He had named her Delilah, so her arms and torso told the tale of her namesake. Tattooing takes some time and after years of transcribing the bible, Dog Breath had a strange religious experience and suddenly became a Druid. After this he turned to Celtic and tribal designs to finish the rest of her limbs. You would think being a three-armed, fully tattooed girl would be enough of an attraction, but soon her fame dwindled. To remedy this she took up contortionism. She was a natural and this delighted the crowds. Delilah continues to travel the world with he Side Show friends and hopes to come to a town near you.

Hand crafted doll with a variety of fabrics, hand drawn face with soft sculptured features, hand-made yarn hair. Personal variation of several different doll patterns with handmade bodysuit garment and beaded wrist bracelets. Some fabrics are commercial prints, some hand-dyed by the artist and others are image transfers overlayed onto other fabrics.

Detail Images

Detail Image for art Delilah

Leg Behind Head Pose

Detail Image for art Delilah


Detail Image for art Delilah

Sitting up


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