I’d been wanting to make a doll or a figure of some sort for quite some time. There is a slew of discarded failures in a corner of my studio. I wanted something primitive, folksy. Something that was made by me, but that also had history. Inspiration finally decided to participate with me in my endeavor when I spied some pieces of tattered oriental rugs in another corner of my studio (I think you may be getting a sense of my organizational style here) . I’m mostly Polish. Then a good dose of Lithuanian. Then some middling bits of This and That that don’t add up to much. At the end of the day, I’m an Eastern European Girl. And that may just be why I became fascinated with the image of those Russian Nesting Doll Sets. All the pieces started falling into place.
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A shrink would probably have a field day with the idea of me having made a faceless doll. But I have a few points of defense here. First, while I admit that on a few of the days I was working on this I was so PMS-ey I wanted to disappear, I liked the idea of letting the piece speak for itself. Who am to say what it should emote? As the creator, I give it form. From there, it [the piece] should bring its own voice to the table. Second, in what seems like another lifetime, when I was a baby floral designer and special events studio owner, the only print advertising I could afford was black and white. This was before black and white photography was artistically “in”. And the funny thing that would happen is that potential clients would call me asking for “pink and red bouquets, just like the one in the ad”, or “blue and purple, like I saw in the magazine”. Curious, don’t you think? Give something substance and texture and a vehicle to speak from, and it manages to show its own colors as they are needed to be seen by the people viewing it. This is a tool I can work with.
The creative process never fails to impact me, if not frustrate the heck out of me. Sometimes what I’m trying to say through my work, isn’t what I really need to say, at all. The most successful pieces are the ones that find their own voice and leave me behind as a footnote in their own lineage.