Archive for April, 2010

Enchanted Doll in Expensive Pleasures magazine

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

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Another Russian magazine from the Russian city of Tomsk, not far from where I grew up, considering the size of Siberia. It’s a little bit weird and very flattering being in local media of my home country and even region, despite having lived on the other side of the world for the last decade. It’s surreal: even though I don’t live there and my entire professional career has been built in a different country, Mother Russia still knows who I am and what I do. The world feels really small sometimes.

Russia and Canada are the two best countries in the world and I love being a citizen of both -It’s like having two families who both love you and take care of you. Two sets of moms and dads who have your best interests in mind and provide you with a  double sense of belonging. And sometimes a double sense of abandonment on rare occasions when you have a fight, but mostly belonging. It’s quite wonderful.

Sketch of the week #21: Deep sea diver

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

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Deep sea diver helmet rough sketch.

I noticed that a lot of my projects seem to be born from my own fears and apprehensions. For example: I am quite frightened by the idea of deep water diving and I experience a strong discomfort while swimming in the open water, lakes, rivers or ponds, or any natural body of water for that matter. In fact, I only enjoy swimming and diving in the safe, blue swimming pools with a pleasant, tiled bottom. It’s not so much the water itself that bothers me, as it is the depth, the darkness and the unknowns of its mysterious vastness.

I can’t even be on a blow up toy or a mattress, because I can’t relax and it seems to me that I’m floating high in the sky, but instead of air beneath me, there is only dark water that hides all the visible and exposed things from sight. Swallows them. I can’t dangle my feet in the water if I can’t see the bottom near and clear. And even then I’d rather not. It’s like a reverse fear of heights, in a way. I can’t see what’s under me, and it frightens me. Oh, and the sea weed. That stuff’s just plain terrifying.

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So, I tend to avoid even getting in the water when it’s not encased in concrete and tiles. This phobia definitely interferes with my enjoyment of summer at times. But oh, well. I’ve got other things going.

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This is the Diver’s helmet modeled in wax. It took  me two weeks of full time work to construct this thing. It was so difficult, I almost lost my mind in the process.

I find water is both beautiful and dangerous and tried to convey this through the Deep Sea Diver project. Somebody cleverly suggested that it was Captain Nemo’s daughter. That is a very good idea. Like I said, my inspiration for this particular head dress was very instinctive and emotional in nature, stemming from my water anxiety, and thus I did not give much thought to the character wearing this helmet. And so now, she shall be Captain Nemo’s daughter. I think it fits the theme of the project very well. Thank you for the suggestion.

Real Henna

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

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My hand holding little, tattooed feet of my doll Lavanya.

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My hand and feet in henna.

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Me, having my feet done by Kree.

Ok, let me explain. Recently, I had a meeting with two curators of the Artful Henna group exhibition which I am taking part in this August in Seattle, USA. I will make one tattooed, porcelain doll for sale, and will provide more details later down the road. Anyway, they came down to Vancouver to meet up for lunch and discuss the details of the show, and it turned out that both of these ladies were traditional henna artists themselves, and offered to put some henna on me! Naturally, I agreed.

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It was so interesting. I’ve never seen henna done in real time, and I couldn’t believe how quick the design materializes in the quick minds and fingers of the artists. I felt very pampered, like I was in a spa. And even though I had a tonne of work planned  for that afternoon, I cleared my schedule and took the rest of the day off to curl up on the couch with some fruit tea, watch a movie and take a nap while henna dried on my skin. What a pleasant day it was. For the next week wherever I went, everyone was complimenting me and asking me if I had gone to an Indian wedding. I loved the designs on my hand and arm so much, that I even briefly considered having that tattooed. But I don’t think I can go through with it. I’ll just make another tattooed doll instead.

I’m getting it done again this summer when I go up to Seattle for the show. I’ll be able to wear sandals when it’s warm and show off my feet too.

Another look at Fragility

Friday, April 16th, 2010

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Here’s another look at the Deep Sea diver helmet, including the a peek at the diver herself.

More pictures will be posted soon.

Berlin Show Announcement

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

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Displayed in the poster is one of the dolls that will be at the show, with the working title of “Deep Sea Diver”.  More information regarding the show, and more pictures, will be posted in the near future.

Show details:

Fragility
Marina Bychkova
with work by Wendy Froud and Virginie Ropars
June 11th, 2010
Strychnin Gallery in Berlin.

New shots of The Bride

Friday, April 09th, 2010

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Here are a few photos of The Bride that never made it to the site.  We played around with some different treatments to give them different feels.  These, along with a couple others, will likely find their way to The Bride‘s gallery soon.  In the first shot I was going for a typical “Bridal magazine” shot, including the soft focus and glow that they always use.