Marina Elphick

Marina’s Muses

Over the past three years I have been working on a project creating three dimensional figurative artworks in textiles, influenced by artists and their muses. It has involved researching artists’ work, distinguishing their painting styles and learning about the lives of their models, to enable me to capture the essence that characterises the muse and the style that reveals the artist.

I have worked professionally as an illustrator and textile artist since the mid eighties, specialising in batik portraiture, yet also experimenting in three dimensions and embracing all textile techniques.

    My interest in portraiture and love of textiles has naturally led me to the ‘doll’ as a vehicle to explore and re-interpret the female muse. I feel ambivalent using the word ‘doll’ because the word can often be used pejoratively, having domestic and infantile connotations. I would like to call my muses, soft sculpture, perhaps elevating the medium whilst also reclaiming the ‘female muse’ as a potent and compelling premise to inspire and inform.

Some of my Pre-Raphaelite muses were featured in the recent Pre-Raphaelite Sisters conference in York, alongside notable academics and historians, who were there to talk about women as artists throughout the Victorian age, and where their legacy will continue into the future.

Publications: “Marina’s Pre-Raphaelite Muses”, article in the Pre-Raphaelite Review, November 2019.