Thas, who works across many different art forms including sculpture, installation, photography and video, collected and wove together over 3,000 Barbie dolls to build the colossal structure. She spent over a year purchasing the dolls at second-hand stores.
Inspiration for the design came to Thas while visiting with her ailing sister. “Memories of childhood came back to me and felt very overwhelming. I wanted to translate that into an artwork that was universal, something that people could understand. I used the shape of a wave to give the sense of being overwhelmed.”
While developing the concept, Thas knew she wanted to use dolls and specifically chose Barbie for its international, icon status, which most people recognize and understand. Thas also used Barbie as a way to convey messages about genetic modification and the unrealistic beauty ideals of women that are perpetuated by the media.
Wave 1 was selected for the People’s Choice prize and also the Kid’s Choice prize. The exhibit, which ran from March 7-24, featured 74 sculptures by local and international artists.