Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Matryoshkas and memories.

Matryoshka (often called 'babushka') dolls always bring back fond childhood memories for me. I would sit on the delightfully 60s carpet in my grandparent's lounge room and take them apart then put them back together again, over and over, for who knows how long until my 'ma would chase me outside to fetch the eggs from the chicken coop. Sounds quaint and delicious, doesn't it?

Matryoshka dolls
Something mysterious happened to the ones that had been sitting on the hutch in my grandparent's house, and now nobody knows what has become of them. The ones pictured here were actually given to my by a dear friend who spent a year living in Siberia. They are such delicate objects, and I love how each face has its own unique expression.

Part of the appeal of this traditional Russian toy is strongly related to the design principle of repetition. Repetition appeals to us on many sensory levels, especially when the repetition is not perfect, like in nature.  The dolls are brightly coloured and you can 'do' things with them, hence their popularity with both young and old.

From little bubby matryoshka with the flower bud through to big mumma matryoshka with roses in full bloom, they never cease to bring back those cherished childhood memories! I don't think our dear little house would really be complete without them!


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