An exhibition of doll figures inspired by the magical doll in the old Russian story of Vassilissa the Beautiful, in which a magical doll empowers a young motherless girl to survive a wicked step-mother and the fierce witch Baba Yaga. The doll, given to Vassilissa by her dying mother guides and instructs Vassilissa and achieves impossible tasks on her behalf, as long as she is given food and drink.
Vassilissa, even in her most desperate moments remembers to feed this guiding self, a guardian, a secret inner voice and is rewarded with the means to navigate the fierce Baba Yaga and survive her time in her strange magical house and bring back fire.
The exhibition included drawings inspired by the doll sculptures:
…and drawings inspired by the village in the mountains where I go to draw and am part of an artists’ group, a village where I feel inexplicably at home and endlessly inspired…
I am free here to explore ideas…
…and be among friends, here turning up on opening night at the old ‘escuelita’ school house:
The exhibition opened with ‘The Song of India’ by Rimsky-Korsakov played by the amazing cellist Bernard Gregor-Smith (see here for video)- a reference to the exhibition’s Russian source and Hindu-inspired shrines and watercolours: