|Art I Heart|
Share the art you love from your walls, a birthday card, what your child drew at school, that you saw in The National Gallery in London...
2. Take a photograph, scan or download a picture of your picture and post it along with the short story about why you are drawn to it, have it on your wall, bought it, or hate it. Don't forget to link back to the linky so your readers can see the other entries.
3. Link up (it's open till next Thursday, 4pm GMT), leave a comment, et voila!
|The original matryoshka|
You could say it's not art. However, the crafting and hand-painting of these dolls is a highly skilled job and, as production decreases and factories close, one that is in danger of dying out. You can read about the history and background of Matryoshka here. There is also some debate about whether they are called matryoshka (or matrushka) or babushka. I think babushka is merely a nick-name as it means grandma or old woman in Russian. And you can see many fine examples far better than my pathetic collection, here. This post is about my personal story and I'm eager to tell it without getting bogged down in the whole matryoshka culture.
|The full collection (and me in the mirror)|
Fast forward to 1986 and my friend and I were going to Russia for a week. It was touch and go whether our trip would be cancelled as it was only a few months after the Chenobyl disaster, but in the end we went. (Since then we have given birth to eight healthy children between us, if you're interested.) It was a package, organised tour including 4 days in Moscow and 3 in Leningrad (now St Petersburg again). I knew that I wanted to buy a matryoshka while I was there.
|Bought in London and sadly depleted|
On the other hand, all the tourist hotels had a tourist shop overflowing with colourful souvenirs. We went to look around on our first day. The choice of matryoshka was vast. "Do you want to buy your doll now and then we don't have to worry about it anymore?" Asked my friend. I didn't want to.
|Assorted odds and bods (oddyoshkas?)|
In the early 1990s the iron curtain lifted and about a million Russian Jews arrived in Israel. As you can imagine, they didn't come with much. You used to see them sitting on a blanket by the side of the road, all their worldly goods spread out before them, for sale. I was walking down King George Street one day and I saw a matryoshka (pictured above). The man gave me a price and I gave him double what he asked for. I had my matryoshka at last.
Since then I've collected others. I had mostly complete sets until my daughter discovered the joy of playing with things within things. I am not one to keep chipped mugs or jigsaw puzzles with half the pieces missing, but every so often you come across a lone piece from a matryoshka. I collect them in the hope of one day matching them up somehow.