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Out of the Box

Empty Nests –
Photography and Artist’s Statement by Naomi Pitcairn 

In this photographic series entitled “empty nests” I focus on a set of ordinary objects – the packaging of children’s dolls and action figures. Removed from their larger context these items of material culture become extra-ordinary, providing a micro-context of their own – one that is emotionally manipulative, sensorial-ly seductive and ultimately, persuasive.

Though often manufactured abroad, these “fictionalized” mini-environments for plastic homunculi bear surprising truths about our culture of consumption and the western world view. Sans “toy” the packaging can be viewed for its semiotic quality where it works on many layers to reify culturally constructed gender stereotypes i.e. male power and dominance and female beauty and domesticity. Color, style and symbols forming realistic and fantastic images of the magical places we apparently want to live, as well as reminding us that choking is always a hazard when small parts are involved.

Please click to enlarge for titles.
All photographs, 15″x15″, Ink Jet prints on Hahnemule fine art paper, 2008-2009

©Naomi Pitcairn


  1. Guy Zimmerman says:

    These are haunting and beautiful…pottery fragments from the archeology of today and I love how you managed to locate their mystery and leave it intact… Cool stuff…!

  2. beautiful photos. love the stark backgrounds. I love the idea of everyday items becoming iconic by their presentation as these have.

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