When we were small, over half a century ago, my younger sister Cheryl played with a set of dolls she called the “McCann Family.” They were a thinly disguised version of our family. Cheryl decided she was “Tom McCann,” the spunky boy doll. I was, “MaryAnn,” the girl doll. At first Tom could stand alone. Later he always lost his balance. Cheryl diagnosed him with Polio. She fitted him with crutches and braces like hers. (Cheryl was born with spina bifida.)
Tom thought Mother and Father disliked having a disabled child. He felt bad about that. One day, Father’s leg fell off. Cheryl taped it back on as a prosthesis. After Father became an amputee, he was a lot more understanding about his son.
When Cheryl died in 2006, I inherited the McCann Family. Now I place the four-inch tall dolls on stage and direct their actions. I present these emphatically colored photographs in a large format to bring both the McCanns and memories of childhood to life.
The McCann Family is also a book, 7×7 inches. The figures in the book are close to life size: 4 inches.
In 2009, for the McCann Family Portfolio, I received the CPW Artist Fellowship Award juried by Hannah Frieser, Director of Light Work. Juror’s Statement
Dinners Were Tense