My Story……From Cinderella To A Frozen
Scarecrow To Paris and New York To…….?
My Story……from Cinderella to a frozen scarecrow, to Paris and New York to…….?
“The first figure I created was when I worked in the theatre as a costume designer. The director asked me to prepare some illustrations of the costumes for Cinderella. To impress him I decided to make a figure dressed in the costume - he was so impressed he gave me the part! It was at that point I became ‘hooked’ on designing, making and dressing figures. My next venture was to make classic Russian cloth dolls. In those Soviet times there was restricted access to other countries and of course no Internet so I was forced to try and sell them at an open air tourist market in Moscow. I remember standing for hours in the freezing cold holding my dolls; I laugh now at the thought as I must have looked like a frozen ‘scarecrow’.
Slowly but surely I progressed to developing my sculpting skills and experiment with various materials and styles. I think that initially my inspiration came from my fascination with the diversity of the human face, whether in a shop or on a train I found myself enjoying the myriad of shapes and differences and I tried to reflect this in my figures with a mixture of various cultural and ethnic traces.
However on relocating to the UK I found that I developed in a new direction incorporating my figures into an installation with an historical or fantasy theme. More recently the works of the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch (c1450 - 1516) has inspired many of my works. I still see the figure and the face as the focal point of the creation. Although I have a clear vision of the ‘story’ I am trying to project it has been interesting to listen to visitors to my exhibitions interpreting the meaning behind the theme in different ways. As an example one of my current installations is a boar pulling an old blind man on a cart. My title was ‘The Beast Leading the Blind’, but at one exhibition a visitor discretely changed the label crossing out ‘The Beast’ and inserting the words ‘Donald Trump’!
In all of my paintings, sculptures and installations I constantly try to gain emotional depth and make them speak without words - seeking for them to appear timeless and universal…..thus helping viewers concentrate on that precise moment in time.’