Dolls to make her heart sing
■ Tell us a bit about yourself. Who am I? My dolls tell that story! I have lived in Rotorua for 50 years. I have raised three amazing children and been involved in community organisations such as Plunket, and art events including a residency at The Arts Village.
I am passionate about enabling and empowering people (including myself) to become the best they can be.
■ How long have you been an artist for and how did it start?
My first adult encounter with doll making was about 20 years ago. I read two books — Mother Plays With Dolls by Elinor Peace Bailey and Doll Making As A Transformative Process by Pamela Hastings. My heart pounded with excitement as I knew this art form was for me — a simple human form which could express what I needed to say. I am self-taught and work intuitively most of the time.
■ What media do you work with/ sort of art do you create?
My passion is working with textiles, especially those which already have a story embedded in their construction and use, like old linens and tablecloths.
I transform these materials into dolls, textile figures and soft sculptures.
■ Where do you get inspiration from?
Each figure is a storyteller and a story keeper. The starting point for each textile sculpture is my own life story. Perhaps a life event or a reaction to a world event, or an encounter with interesting materials or immersion in poetry or art.
The act of creating is an act of selfdiscovery and transformation.
■ What do you enjoy about creating art?
Every aspect of doll making makes my soul sing — exploring ideas and concepts, designing sculptural forms, auditioning fabrics and embellishments, cutting and stitching, mounting or posing the figures, and sharing their stories in person and on-line. (www.heartfeltdolls.weebly.com) The integrity and authenticity of this creative process speaks to others. They hear the story. They feel the energy. We are connected in our humanity.
I love integrating textiles into installations, such as 200 knitted breast prosthetics which form a three circuit labyrinth and invite meditation on those living with breast cancer. I have wrapped 200 rocks with fabric and yarn, reflecting on the essence of what it is to be human. The rocks create a labyrinth: a walk to our centre and out again.
■ What do you have coming up/ what will you be up to in the near future?
I am humbled and excited to have three of my textile figures selected for the Indoor Gallery at the NZ Sculpture Onshore exhibition at Fort Takapuna.
This event runs from November 3 to 18 and is a major fundraiser for Women’s Refuge. For more information on the event go to www.nzsculptureonshore.co.nz
Rotorua’s Liz Pearce with a number of the dolls she has made.