Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh
Project info

Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh was started by Eleanor Macnair on a whim in August 2013 with no expectation of reaching a wide audience. The images are produced late at night using Play-Doh, a chopping board, an empty wine bottle as a rolling pin and a scalpel. Each image takes about 3 hours to reproduce, paring the image down to just form and colour, before being photographed the next morning then disassembled back into the Play-Doh pots. The works themselves no longer exist and the Play-Doh is re-used for future renderings, so these photographs are all that remain.

The project was shared on both tumblr and instagram and now reaches a wide audience - a testament to the democracy of the internet. Although there is a strong following amongst professional photographers and curators, the project has been viewed by thousands of people all over the world who aren’t involved in photography as far afield as Congo, Mongolia, Bolivia, and Kazakhstan. In the modern world we can view hundreds of images a day on phones, computers, through adverts, on billboards and in newspapers. The objective of Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh was only ever to encourage viewers to slow down and re-engage with familiar photographs and discover new ones.

The project was published in book form by MacDonaldStrand/Photomonitor Press in October 2014 and was included in The Observer’s Top Photo Books of the year. A projection of the project was shown at LOOK3 festival in the summer of 2015, curated by Scott Thode and Kathy Ryan of The New York Times. ‘Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh’ was first exhibited at Atlas Gallery in London in October 2015 followed by Kleinschmidt Fine Photographs in Wiesbaden, Germany currently on display until 22 April 2016, and Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles, until 16 April 2016. The project has been featured on the BBC, Guardian, Observer, Telegraph SEVEN Magazine, The Independent magazine, AnOthermag.com, It’s Nice That, Hyperallergic, Huffington Post and Art Info amongst others.