Celebrated Sobriquets aka Always Known As

Mirror Girls :
Lady Diamond Thug, mirror, nail varnish, 2006
Lil Bubbla, mirror, nail varnish, 2006
Queen Fiend, mirror, nail varnish, 2006

Sarah Doyle’s work explores the construction of identity through visual culture.
She has recently been using the nicknames and alter egos teenagers give themselves in her work. You will most likely have seen examples of such nicknames written on walls around most areas and as alias names on community sites such as Myspace.
Part of the show includes a Myspace portal created by Sarah Doyle where teenagers’ blurb from Myspace is regurgitated by young Victorian girls and showgirls.
The work examines playing at being adult, pretending, mimicking, the fear of growing old and the desperation of trying to fit in.

The title: Celebrated Sobriquets is a play on the title of the Tennessee Williams drama “The Celebrated Soubrette,” a “slapstick tragedy” about an ageing showgirl whose eyes are plucked out by birds as she desperately attempts to relive her routines to impress her new acquaintances.

The original title “Soubrette” is changed to “Sobriquet” for the show to relate to the pseudonym theme. The nature of Tennessee Williams’s women was that they were tragic heroines. They would create a life they would rather inhabit, and then try to convince those around them that this lie was the truth. The girls from the show Celebrated Sobriquets also try to present a front they would like others to believe by pretending to be their aliases - “Lady Diamond” or “Thug Angel,” for example. The show at The Surgery incorporates these names made from discarded teenagers’ clothing. The clothing is painstakingly shaped into childlike bubble writing creating these often-bombastic nicknames. This work is shown alongside works on mirrors, the mirror pieces also include the nicknames along with portraits of young girls. The viewer looks into the mirror and can see their own face inside the face of the young girls. These mirror pieces incorporate nail varnish as paint. The young girls are all taken from pictures taken by Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll). His portfolio of photographic images mainly consisted of young girls and showgirls taken from music halls.

Medium : Etched mirror, nail varnish, phosphorescent medium, lighting
Size : 47cm x 63cm x 4cm

Shown in :

Celebrated Sobriquets aka Always Known As The Surgery, London (UK)
11 Nov – 3 Dec 2006

© Sarah Doyle 2024