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"The Magic of Mannequins" by Kamila Wojciechowicz-Krauze

I've been painting mannequins since 2020, during the covid lockdown. I was inspired by my journey to Central Australia, where I have spent several days, exploring and sleeping in the desert under the stars.

Since 2020, I have painted 20 mannequins. Every single one has its own tale.

I prefer using second hand mannequins, because they already have "a past" and I can give them "a new life" and identity. I use acrylic paints, markers, and miscellaneous materials, such as buttons, paper mache, clay, crystals and even bonsai trees.

I'm planning to create many more mannequins in the future, and continue on promoting creativity, beauty and the "zero waste" lifestyle, by reusing objects in order to create

something new.

The star constellations gave me an idea for creating "Helix Nebula," my first painted mannequin. I used copper and blue colours to emphasize the colours I saw at the desert. I also added chakras on her body to symbolize the energy of the Universe flowing through her body.

Afterwards I created the "Rainbow Warrior," who symbolizes the struggle for equality, women's rights and the need for tolerance. I was inspired by drag queen makeup, but also by the works of Niki de Saint Phalle and Yayoi Kusama.

"Mr Zen" has an actual bonsai tree attached to his head. The tree symbolizes newly found inner peace. As for his back, it depicts Mr Zen's past, the patterns are meant to

resemble yakuza tattoos.

"Twiggy: Positive/Negative" is based on the British model famous in the 60's and 70's, Twiggy, who was known for her avant-garde, mod style. I painted her with glowing paint, so that she can been seen in two different ways, depending on the light.

"Magic Atronach/Golem" is a mannequin inspired by the Prague legend of the Golem, who was a magical guardian made of clay, created by a Jewish rabbi Loew.

Rabbi Loew used Cabala and wrote the magical word "Emet", meaning "truth" in Hebrew on the Golem's forehead. The Golem would obey the rabbi's orders and protect the Jewish community from ostracism and pogroms. As the Golem grew stronger, he became more violent and started killing innocent people. Rabbi Loew was forced to neutralize the Golem by removing the first letter from the word "Emet" thus creating "Met", which means "death" in Hebrew. I slightly changed the Golem, and wrote the word "Emet" on his back.

"Nefertiti" is a mannequin from the "Egyptian Series" of mannequins I have created. She is inspired by Akhenaten's wife and High Priestess Nefertiti, who praised the Sun god Aten. She was the first to promote monotheism, which was an extremely controversial topic in Ancient Egypt (Ancient Egyptians were polytheistic).

Illustrator and Painter, Kamila Wojciechowicz-Krauze, can be found here:

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