Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Isn't it time to "Journey to Merryville"?

Have you ever been to a gallery show which was so enchanting and rich that you just wanted to linger there forever? One of those shows that stays with you long after you have left and makes you want to return time and again just to see one more detail--one more angle. To make sure you can thoroughly absorb the layers and layers it has.

Well, let me suggest a show you will want to take your friends, your children, your grandchildren,  your friends grandchildren or basically anyone else to over and over again. It is "Journey to Merryville" by the artist Lilin Tseng now showing up at the Salmon Falls Artisans Showroom in Shelburne Falls through September 2.   Now in all fairness to my readers I must admit that I know Lilin--although only slightly. After all, she has long been known for her wonderful perfectly executed dolls.

But this is far more than a doll show. This is a place inhabited by 20 characters who each--regardless of who they are--enjoy every moment to the fullest while being totally themselves. And just to give you perspective--these characters are about 20 inches tall.

Anyhow there is Muffet. Haven't we all met her? Do note the detail on the finger nails. Don't you just love her ruffled collar?

She is indeed sitting on a Tuffet talking with--of course--her friend Puffet. Yes, I know her too. And you must see the complete assemblage to thoroughly understand how wonderful it is.

Behind them is Madam Moth--based in part of the opera Madam Butterfly. (Yes, you will want to read the entire story about this character. I won't spoil it for you.)

Again note the fingernails. And of course the oh so perfect moth.

There is Cat Woman.  Yes, she has a mechanical crank to turn her tail though of course one would never ever turn it in the gallery. How long did it take Lilin to perfect that!

This is the "fur". What attention to detail and complexity. This is painted wood. But try to imagine that process--so painstaking and exact.

And of course Bow Wow Wow. So himself. So full of attitude. His necklace is a beaded dog. His pants hang down--as in way down.  Probably banned in several communities. But he is so full of himself and his world. I believe she even made the sunglasses. Wow!

So have you noticed anything similar about these characters? Not just their attitude but all the faces are made from the same mold that of course Lilin sculpted and then molded in resin. Amazing isn't it?

One more I loved was Poppo. Yes, this is Pippi Longstockings grown up. Don't you just love her smile? I didn't snap a picture of her longstockings but of course they were hand knit just for her legs. Can you imagine attaching those buttons?

OK--I can't include them all. She even made a character which is a self portrait of herself. How lovely and revealing it is. And of course on the walls are paintings of the characters of Merryville to make the show even richer.  So do--if you are even thinking of making it to Shelburne Falls this summer visit this show. Indeed I suggest visiting it once--then taking the time to read the wonderful hand out that describes each of the characters--and then looking again. After all, don't you wanted to see the needle felted dog or the hat made from a tea strainer? Yes this show deserves a larger venue with a greater audience (hint to anyone out there looking for a great show). But this will be the best time to see this work in such an intimate setting. For more information on Lilin and much better images her web site is: http://merryvilleart.com/index.html

And of course if you are in Shelburne Falls, you can walk down the hill and over the Iron Bridge to visit me in my studio so long as I am not at a craft show. Gee, I bet you were wondering when I would get that in.

And you--have you seen the show? Were you as awed as I was? Any other hidden must see shows that you can recommend?

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