Alejandra Valencia

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Valencia’s exquisite work is inspired by some of the first Russian Matryoshka (Russian nesting dolls) carved by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by a Russian folk painter.

Click here to read about Alejandra Valencia's artwork in Manchester Fashion Week.

Zvyozdochkin was moved to create the symbolic nested arrangement by ‘Fukuruma’ dolls from Honshu, the main island of Japan.  These original Japanese ‘dolls’ depicted Buddhist monks and were produced for ritual use where they symbolised the layers of the human soul.

Valencia has incorporated some of this mysticism into her own artwork by painting the contemporary Matryoshka with the elusive and delicate figures of nuns.

In Russia the dolls became much more associated with fertility and motherhood.  The name "Matryoshka" comes from the Russian word for mother, mat. A liberal interpretation of the term Matryoshka could be taken to mean "little mother."  It is not uncommon to see a mother-like figure as the large doll with her children contained inside her.

The most common wood used for making Matryoshka dolls is lime and birch. Every piece goes through as many as 15 turning operations before being fashioned into a doll.

Valencia’s Matryoshka are carved using the same traditional process then painted in oils to depict jewel like female forms.

Rose Of The Rose - Alejandra ValenciaMatryoshka Nuns (sculpture) - Alejandra ValenciaMatryoshka Warrior Nuns (sculpture) - Alejandra ValenciaMatryoshka Nuns 1 - Alejandra ValenciaMatryoshka Nuns 2 - Alejandra ValenciaMatryoshka Nuns 3 - Alejandra Valencia
Rose Of The RoseMatryoshka Nuns (sculpture) Matryoshka Warrior Nuns (sculpture)Matryoshka Nuns 1Matryoshka Nuns 2Matryoshka Nuns 3
Matryoshka Nuns 4 - Alejandra ValenciaMatryoshka Nuns 5 - Alejandra ValenciaMatryoshka Nuns 6 - Alejandra ValenciaMatryoshka Nuns 7 - Alejandra ValenciaMatryoshka Nuns 8 - Alejandra ValenciaMatryoshka Nuns 9 - Alejandra Valencia
Matryoshka Nuns 4Matryoshka Nuns 5Matryoshka Nuns 6Matryoshka Nuns 7Matryoshka Nuns 8Matryoshka Nuns 9
Matryoshka Nuns 10 - Alejandra ValenciaMatryoshka Nuns 11 - Alejandra Valencia
Matryoshka Nuns 10Matryoshka Nuns 11
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