About

My name is Anouk Pantovola,
which is only half true...
I made up the second part of my name by cutting up two of my favourite words (Pantoffel and Pavlova)
mixing them in a hat, and rearranging them Dada style.

I create art objects in the shape of dolls, sculptures, miniatures, diorama's and theatres.
Often my work holds a world within a world, telling tales of forgotten histories, secrets kept, sorcerers and witches, ghosts and magical beings.
My work breathes a melancholy breath, and has a nostalgic soul, one which yearns to an old world,
a summer past, a memory in dusk.
New things do not move me the way old things do, which is why I love working with used materials, vintage and antique textiles, Victorian trinkets and interesting objects I collect from thrift stores and flea markets.

As a child I made it my occupation to lose my mind in Fairy Tales.
Especially the beautifully illustrated books by the Brothers Grimm and H.C Andersen that lived on the book shelves of my grandmother's house,
were a life inspiration.

I spent a lot of my childhood dressing up as the fantastical characters from my favourite Fairytales,
reenacting many stories and tales.
To this day I love to immerse myself in a private world of such magic and mystery, blurring the lines between illusion and reality.

STORY TELLING is the fuel of my work.
I write tales and rhymes about Witches, Wolves, Chimney Ghosts, Traveling Theatres, Moth Fairies, Moon People, Sirens and Selkies, who live in my imagined worlds of woodlands and oceans.
A story can spark the creation of a doll sculpture but I also find stories in the materials I use.
Often times the textiles I work with are antiques and I love to imagine the many secrets and stories woven into the cloth.

I REMEMBER making cloth dolls with my mother as a child.
We would use not much more than an old sock, scraps and buttons, some dried lavender and cotton wool.
Today I still love working with textiles; I collect antique and vintage fabrics which I use in my doll work.
The older and tattered the fabric, the better.
I love the idea that there are many stories and secrets woven into the cloth that I work with, adding historical layers to my art.
There is also something quite modest about working textiles, as it often was the only socially accepted art form for women.

With some of my illustrations I created patterns for wallpaper and home decor

On some occasions I create bespoke dolls such as Heirloom Dolls and Memory Dolls
These pieces are made in close association with the client and I can use your personal materials that may hold special meaning.
For more information about such work, please fill out the Bespoke Doll Request Form

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