Sunday, August 17, 2008

Matryoshka Dolls

matryoshka tarten family

I've been experimenting with creating Matryoshka (babushka/nesting dolls) dolls as a way of making objects again alongside my tapestry works. I managed to get my hands on a few sets of blank sets to works with and have been playing with adding collages at first to see how they turn out. They've been a little tricky but quite rewarding. It's taking some time to get the feel of the object themselves and how they work. I'm hoping as I get more of a grasp of them as an object that I will explore the use of tapestry elements as well but just now, they are pure collage/paint numbers.

So why Matryoshka's? Well obviously my obsession with Soviet and folk arts has played a role in this. As a child, I remember a matryoshka doll that my nana had from USSR from the early 1980s. It used to sit on the mantle piece and now that she is gone, it sits on my mantle piece. I love the use of narrative within the nesting doll formula and also the metaphor of various sides to our personality, life-cycles etc. They can be very loaded.

matroyska 007

I've been working on 2 sets today. One a small set of 3 and the other a set of 5.
The first one is a bit of an anarchist, stirring trouble theme. It shows 3 girls with the text on each: "going against the grain", "you're a red-blooded anarchist" and "it's time to be counted". All things that could be 'living life motto's" for me!

The second series plays with this great D&G advert that I love where it has all these family members in tartan dresses and head scarves. I've added the girls onto the dolls and the final one has a boy and a girl, bit of a fairy tale fantasy but with a bit of an edge. The last one will have a landscape scene as well.

These works are purely in progress at the moment, much finishing, lacquering and painting to be done but I'm happy with how they are looking and hope to have them for an upcoming display case exhibition soon!

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