Newport Doll, A Memory

Sylvia Mason writes about her visit to Newport Museum in 1982

We were visiting in May 1982 when an Argus photographer asked me if he could take a photo of my little daughter with the newly acquired Newport Doll. After that we always looked out for it. Now I visit with grandchildren but haven’t seen it for ages. I hope it’s OK. If only the photo had been in colour!

When lock down is over we will ask if it can be put back on display. 

Christina Mitchell writes about the ideas behind her creation of the Newport Doll.
'This was commissioned on the theme of Newport and it was the aim in the 1970s for Newport Art Gallery to commission a work of art on that theme every year. She was born in 1943 and came to Wales in 1974. Christina Mitchell states, Newport Doll was conceived as a figurative three dimensional painting about the city of Newport. The moving image at the centre of the piece is the Transporter bridge, probably the most iconic monument in the whole of South Wales. The image is designed to rotate at a similar speed to that experienced on the bridge. The exotic landscape and the fruit on the hat reflect the sea trade connections to the city, and the pit head winder the area around. Entering the city is not easy on foot, the roads and cars have a dominant place, hence the particular design of the shoes. The umbrella needs no explanation, but the gloved hand uses an interest of trompe l’oeil, and is a partly carved and partly painted surface. The overall feeling of the piece is probably more 1940s than 1980s when it was made, but , for me, this helps to convey the atmosphere of this historic and interesting city.'


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