Niki Havekost is a mixed media artist from Rochester, USA.
“I am currently making three-dimensional figures that are doll like in form. These stitched and painted bodies, with fragile limbs of sewing and cooking tools, began as an experiment with materials and found objects. The first doll was a gift I never intended to keep. She had me excited about the potential of the process; the process of making figures I had never seen but knew so well. I made another and then another, and somewhere along the way I started making myself.
“This work of making oneself is on going and a part of a tradition of “women’s work” that is integral to the feminine identity. I find this work both satisfying and difficult. We make and tend with sewing needles, seam rippers, spoons and measuring cups. These instruments are some of our tools, but so are our bodies.
“My body is a site of comfort and discomfort, desire and disgust that I share with my partner and children. The act of becoming a mother was an experience of profound undoing and transformation of my body. These sewing and cooking tools are, for me, deeply intertwined in the experience of my body and its functions. In the making of these bodies, I hope to come closer to understanding my own. “
Niki’s dolls are enchanting, but in a really eerie way. They have a homemade quality to them, but to me they feel as though they made themselves. It’s not hard to imagine them coming to life at night and making more dolls from things lying around the house.
As well as the dolls with found objects, Niki’s website contains a wealth of other creative output, including animal dolls and some pretty awesome beadwork.
It’s worth taking time to enjoy Niki’s creativity at her website. Tell her Mr X sent you!
The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the contemporary embroidered art book curated by Jamie Chalmers. Featuring 30 textile-based artists from around the world, it’s a must have for needlework fans.