Anya Doll - Artist
Daughter to an artist and a banker/farmer, I've decided through life to follow the theme of reconciling seeming dichotomies. Exploring similarities in apparent opposites has led me to some very challenging and inspiring places externally and internally. I've wrestled intimately with human dilemnas only to find myself discovering similar themes while, for instance, finger-painting with chocolate pudding. Chaos, dichotomies, dilemnas are inherent at all stages of life. I found however that painting was a far preferable approach. Life is messy but how will I face tensions created by that; and so what I will create out of the messiness of life has become my passion.
In recent years, navigating with my husband the darkest places of mental illness, often required more of me than I could give. Two years before he chose to end his life here, I segued from acrylic painting to “painting with thread” that is freestyle machine stitching of collaged fibers. I found pain was channeled into creating prayer flags. As my husband’s illness worsened, the flags, each with its own intention or prayer taught me how to better love him and myself.
Seeking the gifts in great challenges, I peel back the layers of the human experience to look at what is hidden. Once an experience is named, I layer fibers and fabrics into textured collages, then "paint" details with free-style machine stitching. Each flag stands alone or they can be tied together. Creating these prayer flags is a journey of love and letting go and listening.
Through time I have found creating prayer flags has informed my painting as much as painting has informed the fiber work. Most of my acrylic paintings are now done through glazing technique. The rich depth that comes from layering colors (whether paint or fiber) is to me the essence of the human experience played out in the creative process. It is with a deep appreciation for creative chaos that I create at all. For I have found that in art, as in life, the unexpected brilliance is often beneath layers, where sacredness and beauty and love glows up from great depths.