Artist's website: https://rowenperkins89.wixsite.com/rosydoll
Rowen Perkins is a Senior at IU East majoring in Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design and a minor in Marketing. She works at the IUE Writing Center as a Consultant. Her artwork won First Place in painting and Second Best in 2016 Show at the Wayne County High School Art Exhibition. In 2017, her acrylic painting, Procession, was included in the Whitewater Valley Art Competition, a juried exhibition at IU East. Rowen prefers working with graphite, colored pencil, ink, acrylic, oils, and digital media, focusing on portraiture. In the future, she wishes to further explore sculptural works in a variety of media. Currently, she is in the process of sculpting articulated art dolls.
The last three and a half years of my life have been spent pursuing my college education, which means they have been spent indoors in front of my laptop. The smaller screen of my smart phone is my escape from my schoolwork. I haven’t had much time to focus on anything else, and as a result, I feel distanced from nature and myself. I have this reoccurring sensation that everything in my life is artificial and synthetic – I eat food with chemicals I cannot pronounce, I use health products with ingredients I don’t understand, and I spend my days immobilized in front of the blue light of my laptop. The debris of my life is piling in an underground mountain of plastic refuse. I have a longing to immerse myself in nature; I suspect spending more time outdoors, eating real foods, and performing rewarding activities will greatly improve my emotional health.
In my art, I keep returning to the idea of the huldra. In Norse mythology, the huldra are female forest spirits who protect their land. Although the huldra are young and beautiful, they are not benevolent or passive beings. They return kindness when it is shown on them or nature by humans, but when the forest is damaged or polluted, they always find revenge. A huldra can marry a human man, but when she does her tail falls off and she loses her beauty.
My huldra takes the form of a resin ball jointed doll, standing approximately 38 centimeters tall. She appears youthful and naïve with full cheeks and a peaceful expression. She has a fuller, soft figure, and her large hands and feet only add to her childlike appearance. Her clothes are embellished with moss, and there are strands of alpaca yarn in her hair. Her gold eyes and her skin, which is the speckled texture of stone, reveal that she is inhuman. My goal is for her to appear both beautiful and unsettling.