Shapeshifters - Graduate Project | 2021


‘Shapeshifters’ are a set of clay dolls highlighting the roles of animals and shapeshifting in global folklore.

I created four figures made from polymer clay with interchangeable faces, an element of modularity, pointing to the shifting nature of folktales. The figures bring physicality to the tales. The reseach behing this is linked to folk art and the importance of clay in creation tales. Each figure is an amalgamation, referencing mythology and global folklore. Shapeshifters exist in all cultures, from trickster gods to cursed victims and fantasy creatures reflecting how interwoven our enviroment is with animals and the natural world.

This outcome touches on the importance of numerology in folklore, with four characters and three plants making a seven piece set. This outcome plays with scale and shape both elements in folklore.

‘Shapeshifters’ is rooted in internal logic; it does not present a narrative but is instead calls for the audience to pull from their own folkloric references an construct their own narratives around the figures.

Visual Development

Zoë McCarthy, 2021