Norfolk artist creates doll series inspired by Ru Paul's Drag Race
- Credit: Shauna Richardson
A crochet artist from north Norfolk has designed a series of creations inspired by Ru Paul's Drag Race that pay homage to 1970s toilet roll dolls.
Shauna Richardson, from Overstrand, "laughed out loud" when she thought of the idea and has since made over 40 dolls which she calls 'the original johns'.
The collection can currently be seen at North Sea Coffee in Cromer and she hopes to continue making them ready to be shown at Norwich Pride next July.
Mrs Richardson said: "Living with ADHD can have its interesting moments and I frequently have random ideas pop up.
"This idea came to me while walking along the beach with my dog Bob during lockdown and it made me laugh out loud.
"I enjoy humorous and subversive things. I love the big warm-hearted explosion of colour and creativity of Drag Race and the influence on the John project is plain to see."
Each 'John' has her own colour-themed name such as 'Lemon Dribble,' 'Mauvy Dick' and 'Purple Wayne'.
- 1 Town centre toilets to close for six weeks
- 2 Holkham pub closes to drinkers to become hotel and restaurant
- 3 Couple about to leave north Norfolk fish and chip shop
- 4 Road closures in place for north Norfolk marathon
- 5 North Norfolk hotel named among most romantic and best small stays in UK
- 6 Couple put 'TARDIS' home with 'amazing' sea views up for sale for £475k
- 7 Artist donates painting to fund in memory of Cromer teenager
- 8 Major supermarkets order urgent product recalls over salmonella fears
- 9 Council leader offers to end feud with his local MP
- 10 £150 energy rebates being paid out across north Norfolk
As well as Ru Paul's show, inspiration for the project also came from her grandmother.
"She was full of wicked mischief and I remember she had a 'Crinoline Lady' toilet roll cover in her bathroom which was a grotesque pink affair" she said.
Toilet roll crochet dolls gained popularity in the mid-20th century as a way of hiding spare toilet rolls.
Mrs Richardson learnt to crochet at her "grandmother's knee" and has explored using it as a sculptural medium ever since.
She is best known for her realistic life-size crochet animal sculptures which take several months to complete so making the 'Johns' has been a welcome reprieve.
"I spend a lot of time in the company of brown and neutral tones" said Mrs Richardson adding: "I'm currently working on a couple of different sculptures including a black bear portrait of the artist Whistler.
"Although having crochet in common, this work is very different.
"The Johns represent a bright injection of colour and frivolity and they continue to make me laugh.
"I think laughter and concept in art is key to me, both as maker and viewer."
The Johns can also be viewed on Instagram: @theoriginal_john