Derham Groves

Barbie and Ken Meet Sherlock Holmes

Recently a group of third-year architecture students at the University of Melbourne had to read a Sherlock Holmes story and then portray the victim in that story by altering the appearance of a Barbie or Ken doll. (I got this idea from the ‘Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death’, 18 dollhouse-sized dioramas of grisly crime scenes that were built by the International Harvester heiress Mrs. Frances Glessner Lee during the 1940s.) They produced a horrifying collection of dolls that had been bludgeoned, garroted, hanged, mauled, poisoned, scared, shot, stabbed and strangled. (The three featured dolls were constructed by Chen Gong, Nicholas Antoniou and Morsaleena Moytree Paruque.)