The figurative sculptures of Tip Toland are probably her most widely recognized work. She is primarily interested in exploring the essence of humanity, the vulnerabilities and frailties that define much of the human condition. Consequently, she is drawn to the very old and the very young who most vividly exhibit these characteristics. Her figures, however, are not quite realistic; instead, they are more doll-like, permitting the viewer to separate himself somewhat and concentrate on what the figure is expressing as opposed to who the figure is.
“My work is an attempt to give voice to inner psychological and/or spiritual states of being. What is of primary importance to me is that the figures contain particular aspects of humanity which they can mirror back to the viewer. It is the vulnerability of humanity I am after. That is one reason for choosing very old or very young subjects. They both can portray innocence as well as extreme complexity.”