I considered my early artwork “desconsos” – symbolic markers of small deaths – whose creation was the practice of honoring the sorrow that surrounds loss. But they were also love notes to the suffering.


The foundations of these earlier pieces were the split stems and leaf scars of the Queen Palm, gathered from the streets around my home in Venice, California. What emerged from the broken little carcasses were wise and ancient sentinels in the form of a very old medium: the mask, the totem.


Gradually as the work progressed, personalities emerged which naturally led me to work more with skulls and bone. They spoke to me. Their inner strength and wisdom reminding me of my own mortality (memento mori) and as the work began to deepen I was serenaded by haunting lullabies from long ago.


As a child, I would escape into a world of faerie stories. I found that in that time and space everything was clear and everything was possible. So, drawing on an enormous pool of forms, archetypes and folklore, a new hybrid was born. This rogue taxidermy,of sorts, with porcelain doll parts became a cross-breeding of the unexpected. A departure from the familiar, both hypnotic and genuinely disturbing, the characters began to tease me as to the nature of their true identities.


Escaping from tales that left profound impressions in my earliest childhood memories, they continued to weave their spell over me showing up as something truly personal. Although each composition expresses its own unique story, “bird energy” deeply resonates with me and therefore is one of my reoccurring themes.


Like the resurrection of the forgotten, they tell the stories from the Soul of the World because they jar the collective memory we have of imagery and symbolism. They offer a hopeful promise of inspired healing. This collection gives new voice to an age old doll tradition that insists on singing its own song.


-stefanievega, dollwerx artist