Cactus Gallery LA
ALMA by artist Ioanna Tsouka
Mixed media, OOAK Handmade Art Doll, 15” tall
ALMA is made out of paperclay, over a wire and foil armature, different fabrics, black lace, black pure silk hair. She is painted with soft pastels and is sealed with matte and gloss varnish. Her milky white eyes are glass. The tiny skull on her waist is also handmade by me, out of polymer clay. Her bottom part includes a vintage lamp cage, which functions as a standing base and is decorated with red paper roses. She comes with a set of fairy tea lights on thin wire (no plug needed).
Immobile she commands all that her servant spirits survey.
When Alma was still in her mother’s womb, they were attacked by a rival witch. Her mother, exhausted by the pregnancy, could not successfully defend herself when her opponent placed a curse upon the unborn child. “Free from your womb, a captive in her home she will be. In four walls her magic will unfold”…
Confined in a beautiful yet remote location, Alma longed for human contact. She felt unable to cope with the knowledge that she could not realize her dreams, to travel in distant and mysterious lands. The frustration created a temperamental personality, expressed in the whole spectrum between good and evil.
Her witch mother taught her the skill of spirit conjuring, a means of communicating with other worlds. She was also quick to master all kinds of spells to ward off or inflict evil.
The surrounding valleys were rich farmlands with wealthy communities that could be forced to sustain her. She devised a plan to turn the people to her will. She conjured spirits to make her will known to the leaders of the communities, offering them protection from marauding groups of outlaws, pests attacking their crops and anything that would harm their well-being. There were some dissenting voices among the nobility, but were dealt with swiftly: their souls were trapped in roses that adorned her garden, never turning towards the sun but in the direction of their homes.
A new period of prosperity had begun for the locals. Hidden from evil-doers and natural calamities, they thrived in gratitude to their supernatural benefactor. Her servant spirits became her eyes and ears. Nothing happened without her knowing, in a place sheltered by magic…