Natalie Doolette

The Surgeon

Artist Statement

One of the major stages in a child’s life is their loss of innocence. They discover the harsh reality of the world and their awareness of evil, pain and suffering grows, while also acknowledging the social expectations that hover over themselves and other people. The Surgeon explores the impact of the conflict between appearance and reality on children by defacing dainty toys. When exposed to our cruel way of life, the horrors remain under their skin like permanent ink. At what point in their life do children let the first drop of darkness stain their vision of the world?

Artwork Process

A set of ‘Sylvanian Families’ figures and furniture were arranged on a plain table under a small lamp. Before damaging the objects, a photo of the arrangement was taken and drawings to implement on the set were drafted. A camera was placed on a tripod to take close-up shots of the figures being damaged with a black permanent marker. The footage was organised into a sequence with recordings of disturbing noises, like nails scratching a chalkboard, substitutes the sound coming from drawing on the objects. The recordings were distorted in the editing process.

About the Artist

  • Name: Natalie Doolette
  • School: Brisbane State High School
  • Artwork: The Surgeon
  • Media: Single channel video, 16:9, 3:42 minutes, colour, sound

After school, I plan to go to university and pursue my dream of acting, as well as develop my skills in filmmaking and visual arts to fuel my desire for creativity. I think that people — either as an artist or an audience — learn more about aspects of other people, cultures, and ideas from art and are challenged to think differently. I am thrilled to have my work selected to be exhibited at GOMA.