Flavia and Ildiko the two artists that create under the name of Harem6 make stunning art dolls out of painted clay, vintage pieces of clothing and… imagination. I have never seen something so fragile, delicate, ethereal and at the same time vibrant and full of life.
I am really excited that their beautiful art dolls will be available on folklorique very soon, in the mean time here is a bit more about how they are made and the inspiration behind them.
Please give us a brief bio, where you are from and how you started in this field?
Hello ! We are Ildiko Muresan and Flavia Marele mixed media artists from Cluj Napoca, Romania. Our very beginning in this field was when we started drawing in our early childhood and couldn’t stop since.
Could you tell us about some of your work – methods used, materials?
About three years ago we started creating dolls. They were made of polymer clay and painted but we were not at all satisfied with the results and wanted a different art object, the one we imagined not the one which came out like that by chance. So we thought about using clay in order to draw on it. It turned out to be complicated because none of the clays we tried shaped the way we wanted it and we also couldn’t draw on it. Therefor we developed our own formula. Besides the clay we often incorporate vintage fabric,objects or parts into our works. All the fabric we use is recycled : either found or bought at flea markets, which by the way we love so much ! We also pack our objects in new materials, but we use as many recycled boxes and packing materials as we can.This may include post consumer newspaper or cardboard. We love our Planet, clean air, animals and nature. This can even add a certain charm to the art object, as each will be different. Our recent dolls, most of them lady deers and mooses are inspired by folklore, their skirts are made of old hand embroidered fabrics. We are now thinking about creating a new series of works which will have parts of handmade folk objects.
What inspires you to keep going and how do you find original folk art to inspire you?
We couldn’t imagine life differently. We must work in order to survive, it’s in us, it’s unexplainable and this is why it is so beautiful. Inspiration is everywhere, but if we’d have to refer to the folk part, it’s not difficult finding inspiration in it. Our Romanian folk art is so rich and it breathes so many motives and life that even if looking at the same piece several times you’d still find something new, inspirational.
How will you describe your style?
Hmm… This one is hard to answer to. There are three words which come into our mind : narrative, strange and imagination.
What is your biggest achievement?
We don’t like making hierarchies but we think our biggest achievement is and will be the fact that we met and we function together to work as one, this is so magical and amazing.
Is there life after work? What do you do with it?
Yes, there is and must be. That is where the inspiration comes from. We love reading, watching movies, going to the flea markets and traveling among many other.