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Iconic images recreated in Play-Doh are amazing

When she's not writing, Claire Gillespie can most often be found wiping snotty noses, picking up Lego, taking photos of her cat or doing headstands.

Play-Doh isn't just for kids — it happens to be a pretty cool material for a contemporary art exhibition

From SheKnows UK
What springs to mind when you think of Play-Doh? Peeling endless bits of it off your carpet after the kids have discarded their creations? A huge dirty brown mass when all the lovely bright colours get mixed together?

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Well a new art exhibition might make you see it as more than something you bring out of the toy cupboard to entertain your children on a rainy day.

“Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh” by Eleanor Macnair is showing at the Atlas Gallery in London from now until Nov. 21. It features images of Play-Doh reproductions of a range of images, some iconic and others lesser-known.

Play-Doh isn't just for kids — it happens to be a pretty cool material for a contemporary art exhibition
Image: Original photograph: from "Woman" 1971 by Akira Sato, rendered in Play-Doh copyright Eleanor Macnair

Macnair’s project began on a whim in August 2013, revealed a press release from Atlas Gallery. She created each work late at night using Play-Doh, a chopping board, a blunt Ikea knife and a highball glass as a rolling pin.

Play-Doh isn't just for kids — it happens to be a pretty cool material for a contemporary art exhibition
Image: Original photograph: Leonard (Red) Jackson, Harlem, 1948 by Gordon Parks, rendered in Play-Doh copyright Eleanor Macnair

Each work takes 1 to 2 hours to reproduce before being photographed the following morning, before it is taken apart. The Play-Doh returned to its pots, ready to be used again for future renderings, which means all that remains of the work is the photograph.

Play-Doh isn't just for kids — it happens to be a pretty cool material for a contemporary art exhibition
Image: Original photograph: Charles, Vasa, Minnesota, 2002 from "Sleeping by the Mississippi" by Alec Soth, rendered in Play-Doh copyright Eleanor Macnair

Play-Doh isn't just for kids — it happens to be a pretty cool material for a contemporary art exhibition
Image: Original photograph: Untitled (1975) from the series "On a Good Day" by Al Vandenberg, rendered in Play-Doh copyright Eleanor Macnair

Play-Doh isn't just for kids — it happens to be a pretty cool material for a contemporary art exhibition
Image: Original photograph: detail of Aerial Suspension, 2009 from the series "Conjurations" by Clare Strand, rendered in Play-Doh copyright Eleanor Macnair

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Play-Doh isn't just for kids — it happens to be a pretty cool material for a contemporary art exhibition
Image: Original photograph: Jack Crowley with dove, Munich, 1969 by Will McBride, rendered in Play-Doh copyright Eleanor Macnair

"On the surface, photographs can condense complex ideas and present them in a straightforward visual language," said Macnair. "I take this a step further and pare them down to almost nothing, just form and colour. They are what they are. Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh. It's my strange tribute to photography."

Play-Doh isn't just for kids — it happens to be a pretty cool material for a contemporary art exhibition
Image: Original photograph: Portrait with Blue Hair, 2013 by Daniel Gordon, rendered in Play-Doh copyright Eleanor Macnair

Play-Doh isn't just for kids — it happens to be a pretty cool material for a contemporary art exhibition
Image: Original photograph: Doe Eye Vogue Cover, January 1, 1950, model: Jean Patchett by Erwin Blumenfeld, rendered in Play-Doh copyright Eleanor Macnair

The objective of "Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh" is simple: to encourage viewers to slow down, re-engage with familiar photographs and discover new ones.

Play-Doh isn't just for kids — it happens to be a pretty cool material for a contemporary art exhibition
Image: Original photograph: Young Boy, Gondeville, Charente, France, 1951 by Paul Strand, rendered in Play-Doh copyright Eleanor Macnair

View "Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh" at Atlas Gallery, 49 Dorset St, London W1U 7NF.

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