DOLLS Magazine (USA, June 2019)
Walt Disney was right — though maybe a tad misguided with that cloying theme song — but it is a small world, after all. Yes, social media has made it smaller. You can post a clever comment or a thumbs-up encouragement on Facebook, and then find yourself swamped with marriage proposals from Nigerian princes and other faraway “fortune hunters.” Yep, it is a small world, after all. Lithuanian-based doll artist Anna Zueva knows that universal truth for sure.
Anna’s work chips away at national borders and territorial roadblocks. Instead, it focuses on what all of us have in common. It explores empathetic expressions, heartfelt gestures, and dramatic intensity. If artists were able to sculpt with their souls and their sympathy, their dolls would embody their inner beings. Anna Zueva’s dolls are pretty close to showcasing what is ticking beneath her surface. They have a certain X factor, in their emotional x-ray capacity…
German magazine «Puppen & Spielzeug», October/November 2016
Art Doll Quarterly Magazine (USA, Winter 2016)
My first encounter with dolls was when I came to the art studio at Pioneer’s Palace, a youth center for creative work in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Of course, no one thought about doll art at this time at all — children only liked to draw or sculpt. After graduating from the local art school, I began to study design at the Sverdlovsk Institute of Architecture. I created my first doll there and gave it to a friend as a birthday present. This amusement has lasted for 20 years.
Inspiration for dolls differs from time to time. Sometimes this could be an interesting rag of cloth. The next time, a film I saw or a book I read. Sometimes my mood becomes an inspiration and some trifle is enough. I can see a piece of cloth, or imagine some gesture or pose. Dolls often prompt me (as to) how they want to look like. I always find it more interesting creating new images than repeating old ones because I have no lack of ideas. If I have inspiration, I can work 24 hours a day. My 7-year-old daughter, Serafima, often feels offended and tells me that I love dolls more than her.
I design and sew the outfits for all my dolls. I studied the history of Russian theater costume. As a child, I even wanted to become a fashion artist and dress real people. Now I dress my dolls and, have to say, I like it even more. My house is occupied with rags, tie strings and beads. I just can’t pass by a beautiful piece of cloth, even if I don’t know how I will use it.
In the future, I want to work more and more. Only three years ago I became able to devote my time to making dolls. I want to take part in more international exhibitions and show my creations. Although I constantly make dolls, they leave me in a moment (as in being sold).
All of Anna’s dolls are sculpted of paper clay, textile and mixed media.
Anna Zueva, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rifey TV (Russia, 2010)
Vetta TV (Russia, 2010)