Liminality and Bizarre Beauty: Doll Sculptures by Virginie Ropars

Virginie Ropars - GATHERING doll sculpture
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Virginie Ropars is an artist from Brittany, France. A degree in graphic arts led her to the video game industry, and afterwards she knew she wanted to make things with her hands. Her magical, feminine characters, made of fabric and polymer clay, hover in the liminal space between doll art, sculpture, and clothing design. While many might see darkness in her work, in an interview with Spectrum (for whom Ropars now serves on the advisory board), she explains how “the positive makes sense if there is dark . . . my work is in the middle. I think it’s like nature; it’s not good or bad, it’s something very wild and in the middle and chooses its way.” Inspired by the way she perceives people, she starts each character by sculpting the head, seeing each facial feature as something with its own expressive potential, capturing the range of emotion as it contracts beneath the skin. She began her work by creating softer, more traditional dolls, but as her style developed into the realms of the beautiful-bizarre, many people stopped following her work. However, this didn’t trouble Ropars in her creative explorations; later in the interview, advising artists, she says, “try to be yourself. Don’t try to imitate people. Just find your own way to do things, even if it doesn’t fit anywhere. Who cares? If it’s good, people will notice your work.” Follow Ropars on Instagram for more of her inspiring work.

Virginie Ropars - SABAQUEEN doll sculpture Virginie Ropars - Bombyx Mori doll sculpture Virginie Ropars - BlueBird doll sculpture Virginie Ropars - Datura doll sculpture Virginie Ropars - MOTHRA doll scultpure
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Virginie Ropars - ACANTHOPHIS doll sculpture Virginie Ropars - VROPARS SMOKE doll sculpture detail Virginie Ropars - VROPARS SMOKE doll sculpture Virginie Ropars - VROPARS STRIX doll sculpture Virginie Ropars - Evil Eye doll sculpture Virginie Ropars - ZLobster doll sculpture
Images © Virginie Ropars

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Hayley Evans is a freelance writer and editor hailing from Montréal. Her affinity is with the written word and anything that is dark, beautiful, erotic, or strange. Follow the author @ and view more articles.