Fuckhead from the series WORRY DOLLS
archival ink on photo rag, 100 x 72 cm
The works of Australian artist Natascha Stellmach are emotional investigations into the dark worlds of memory, the unconscious and the unspoken. Her installations, photographs and videos are thought-provoking and compelling.
In Guatemala, children who are scared of going to sleep are given tiny handmade dolls (worry dolls) for underneath their pillow. By passing on their fears to the doll they can then sleep peacefully. In Stellmach's ongoing series Worry Dolls, she creates unique works that embody the secrets and nightmares of adults and take on monstrous forms. With titles like Nazi Girl, Killer or Fuckhead, these worry dolls reveal personal stories whose biographical core represents collective experiences and thus becomes universal.
In the series Blood, Stellmach uses photographs as mementos in combination with her own text, bringing forth new associations and alternative narratives.
This formal approach of juxtaposing text and image enables Stellmach to link reality with fiction. She brings into play documentary or staged, biographical or found material in order to tell powerful narratives about the transience and darkness of the human condition.
Like French artist Sophie Calle, Natascha Stellmach is a storyteller who harnesses words and images in order to analyse, fictionalise and reassess. She successfully tackles challenging topics through her sense of the poetic paired with intelligence and black humour. With Come Live in my Head Stellmach invites the visitor in a very personal way to explore the self. In the end there is indeed hope for fantastical dreams.