My name is Renata Gołaszewska-Adamczyk and I come from Poland. I graduated from the Faculty of Art Education and from the Academy of Film & Theatre Make-Up. For many years I worked with children with intellectual disabilities as a caregiver, teacher and occupational therapist. One of the methods I used in my work was art therapy and one of my initiatives was a project called a Magical Journey in which I used makeup techniques to do makeovers. It allowed me to fulfil some of the dreams of the children in my charge, to make them feel for a while as a beautiful actress or as a character from long ago.
I have been working as a doll artist since 2013. I made my first doll for my daughter Hania. Motherhood awoke in me many old memories. The emotions of children and people with intellectual disabilities are always genuine and therefore beautiful. Through my dolls I’m trying to show that the external beauty of a person comes from their inner beauty.
I have shown my dolls in collective and individual exhibitions. Many of them have been bought by collectors. I am also a co-founder of a Polish Art Doll group called POLA, which aims to promote this beautiful, yet relatively little known art in Poland.
My dolls are very personal. My purpose in using this form of art is to show the beauty of a person. However, I don’t focus on the external, but the internal characteristics and emotions. I would like people to see that true beauty of a person flows from the heart. And if it is genuine, it never passes away.
I have been making dolls ever since I remember. Very simple ones, made of rags, salt dough or modelling clay. But the first one which I think had a significant impact on what I do now was Pola, a doll I made for my little daughter. I made it of fleece and natural fabrics and it was then that I discovered the properties of wool and the possibilities it offers. I realized what a lot of things you can make out of it. And I worked out my own ways and techniques.
Dolls have always meant a lot to me. They were a remedy for loneliness and a way to find joy. I loved playing with them when I was a little girl. Even then I was looking for a soul in them. For me, the most beautiful creature in the world is a child. This is probably why I became a teacher. I like to watch people, to look for truth and beauty in them. I think this is the reason I chose this particular kind of art.
Sometimes I take a break from making dolls. Then I take to painting furniture or porcelain and work on home decoration. I also love to cook and bake with my children. We have our family specialties: butter buns and homemade sourdough bread.
I love nature and so I make my dolls using only natural materials, like fleece, wool, cotton, leather and silk. This gives my dolls a warm, home-like feeling and makes them special.
While searching for inspiration I mainly look to my children: Hubert, Filip and Hania. I also like vintage children photographs. Another source of inspiration are my own childhood memories. I look for my inner child and go back to memories and emotions from years ago. My dolls come from a land which adults long for and remember with tenderness. It is the land of childhood.
Creating a doll is a very time-consuming process. I devote a lot of time to it. Sometimes it takes even two months. I take care of every little detail. I think of my dolls as of living creatures; it’s as if they become a part of me.
Thanks to my work I got to know many people who do this kind of art and craft. I got in touch with doll makers from all over the world. I like the great variety of forms, materials and techniques they represent. I also see certain trends among doll artists and collectors. However, I prefer to take a distanced perspective on them. I follow my heart in what I do. My work is very personal. I think that such an approach is timeless, because it is real and genuine. Following trends may lead to loosing originality.