When I think of a plush toy I think of it as being something something cute that was until I saw the plush toys made by Patricia Waller.
Cute didn’t come to mind, instead my first reaction was:
Who killed bambi?
Patricia Waller is a German artist with an interesting, perhaps morib sense of humor.
Recently I was able to chat to Patricia Waller via email and she agreed to answer a few question about her art.
Let’s go to my interview with artist Patricia Waller now.
An interview with Patricia Waller
Rose DesRochers: Where did you get idea for your plush dolls?
Patricia Waller: I got the idea of crocheting my artworks during the final period of my study of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, Germany. I was looking for materials not yet established in the arts, such as wood, plaster, or metal. In addition I wanted to become independent from machines and electricity supplies. So in the early 90th I discovered wool for my work and started crocheting.
All my colleagues were making fun of me for working with such an old-fashioned material.
Can you tell us more about your art?
In the series “Bad Luck” I use cartoon characters because they work in almost any part of the world, everybody recognizes them immediately. The “toons” are usually anthropomorphic animals that are depicted in a strongly caricatured way. In defiance of all laws of physics they survive the most dangerous situations. If flattened by a steam roller, they immediately rise again without injuries – they are immortal.
One of our basic human rights is the right to life and physical integrity, but still we encounter violence every day. Violence is a basic experience that we already have in the sandbox when other children of the same age hit us over the head with a shovel, pull our hair, and throw sand into our eyes.
Nobody’s childhood was not all that idyllic! Haven’t there been times when we, in a fit of rage, tore out an arm or an eye from our teddy bear?
I deal with questions regarding the way our society deals with the various forms of violence and the growing acceptance of brutality.
How would you describe your art?
Wool – whether crocheted or knitted, is a familiar, applied product that serves to give shelter and warmth to human beings. From one thread I make a textile – I am literally ensnaring objects.
With seemingly banal, every-day objects, I create new images through the crocheted skin. Through defamiliarization and a different form of presentation I question our ways of seeing.
The humor I play with, is of course a rather dark one. Macabre or biting topics are all clothed in crochet works.
In a subversive tongue-in-cheek manner, I mix together the absurd and the bizarre, careful observations of everyday life and an interest in humanity, to create these different phases of my work.
How do people normally react to your art?
Of course I take advantage of the image of ‘house wife’s art’ so that, at first glance, my works appear innocent. If people start smiling or laughing at my work, I know that my first step of approaching them was successful. By taking a closer look, however, they discover the vicious irony.
What is your most favorite piece of art that you’ve made?
I don´t have a real favorite, but I think I like Bambi best of all.
Where can my readers go to see more of your art?
On my website: patriciawaller.com and some blogs are showing my work. The next exhibition will be a group-show in the gallery Deschler in Berlin with the title Animal magnetism. More information at deschler-berlin.de
All images are copyright © Patricia Waller
Images are shown here with permission from artist Patricia Waller. Visit Patricia Waller’s website to see even more of her unusual artwork!
I don’t sell these plush toys, so please don’t email me or comment asking how you can buy one.
You may not want to show Bambi your children. I wouldn’t want them to have horrible nightmares.
Thank you to Patricia Waller for the interview and use of her images.If you liked this post, why not buy me a coffee?