London Life Exhibitions

Lauren Child’s Dolls’ House

November 2, 2015

I’m always excited when there’s a something new to see at The House of Illustration. The most recent exhibition is Lauren Child’s hand-crafted dolls’ house, which is on display for the very first time.

Lauren Child, author, illustrator and creator of Charlie & Lola, has a secret passion – dolls’ houses. She’s been working on her own dolls’ house for the past 30 years and her lifelong obsession continues to inspire her ideas and shape her work.

I’m fascinated by dolls’ houses. But why are they so popular and what’s the explanation for these miniature interior worlds having such power to cast a spell beyond childhood?

I’ll never forget when a few years ago I visited the Kensington Dolls’ House exhibition. It was like discovering a new world. Packed with hundreds of traders of any imaginable miniature, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much money exchanged at an exhibition. Full of ardent collectors willing to pay big money for tiny objects of desire, I witnessed the insatiable hunger to create, update and furnish their doll’s houses.

‘Lauren Child’s dolls’ house is a work in progress that changes as she experiments with ideas and techniques. Many of the objects, like the lacquer cabinet, ceramics and some of the more delicate furniture, have been painstakingly made by dolls’ house experts. Other pieces are made by Lauren, and some things are found objects not originally intended for a doll’s house.’

Lauren likes the effect of the mismatched items: “The dolls’ houses I love best are the ones where the objects are not all in perfect scale. There’s a strangeness to them and I like to be reminded that I’m looking at a scene which isn’t quite real.”

lauren child's dolls' house // colourliving

lauren child's dolls' house // colourliving

lauren child's dolls' house // colourliving

lauren child's dolls' house // colourliving

lauren child's dolls' house // colourliving

lauren child's dolls' house // colourliving

lauren child's dolls' house // colourliving

lauren child's dolls' house // colourliving

Here’s a peek inside the dolls’ house it took Lauren Child 30 years to make from the Today program on BBC Radio 4.

House of Illustration
Lauren Child’s Dolls’ House
2 Granary Square, Kings Cross
London N1C 4BH
Until 7 February 2016

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  • Reply Alison Sye November 2, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    I must go and see this. Lauren Child has given loads of pleasure to my household. Thanks for the tip off 🙂

    • Reply tina November 2, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      I think you’ll enjoy it. Apart from the Dolls House there are also some of Laurens collaged illustrations for different books she did.
      Didn’t want to confuse matters so didn’t show that part.
      These framed pieces serve to show how Lauren works both on her illustrations and dolls house. Sometimes she takes an idea from her dolls’ house and brings it into her illustration and maybe vice versa. You get a really good insight into how she works. and everything is beautiful!

  • Reply Anya @ the hygge journal November 3, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Wow these are brilliant Tina – the girls would love these 🙂
    Have a great week,
    A xx

    • Reply tina November 5, 2015 at 9:03 am

      Oh, am sure the girls would love these.
      Hope you’re all well and keeping warm xx

  • Reply lauren child's collaged illustrations colourliving November 9, 2015 at 1:13 am

    […] recently blogged about Lauren Child’s Dolls’ House at The House of Illustration. I focused solely on the dolls house, but the exhibition also includes […]

  • Reply terry henson November 17, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Lauren’s doll’s house and film have been hugely inspirational for me. I have always loved doll’s houses and decided to find one that I could decorate myself. I managed to find in a charity shop, an old one that looked a bit sad but had clearly been loved by another family. I am now enjoying decorating and finding little pieces for my house.

    • Reply tina November 24, 2015 at 9:52 am

      That’s so lovely. I’m sure you’re having tons of fun. Thank you for your comment and enjoy your doll’s house!

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