DDNEWS' choice of February: Ashida Ahuba. Art heals the soul
Asida Ahuba is an author of remarkable dolls. She is a member of the professional union of author's doll artists UNIDIAHe is a member of the Union of Artists of Abkhazia, the Union of Artists of Russian DPI, as well as the Board of Trustees of the cultural and charitable fund "Ashana". Participant of charity projects of the Konstantin Khabensky and Kiaraz Foundations. Author of the project "Warm Hands", which united many talented and not indifferent people in support of the Foundation's wards.
Asida Akhuba is a participant of many international exhibitions. Her works are in private collections in Russia, America and European countries. In 2021, her doll "Look with your heart" was included in the Top 100 Daily Doll. In May last year, Asida took part in the Doll time exhibition in St Petersburg, where her work Silence was presented on the poster. Asida's dolls take part in the performances of the Fazil Iskander Russian Drama Theatre. In the play "Bypassed by Happiness", directed by Maria Romanova, Asida's work is an actor in a mono-performance paired with Honoured Actress of Abkhazia Anna Gyureghyan. Her "Mask of Sadness" as an artistic solution can be seen in the play "One Hundred Years of Solitude" based on the script of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel.
Asida's works have been repeatedly published in various international catalogues and magazines, including popular science magazines. In 2022 she was noted in the catalogue of the Union of Artists of Russia of Decorative and Applied Arts among the best artists of 2022.
In 2019, Asida Akhuba was awarded the 1st degree Diploma "Golden Hands" for active participation and achieved creative success in the 1st Republican Festival of Folk Crafts and Crafts of Abkhazia. The year 2023 has already brought the master a new award. In January, Asida received the Laureate Diploma of the III degree of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences for the project "Look with your heart".
Do you remember your first doll? What was it like?
- The first polymer clay doll was made at the first and only master class of my favourite artist Irina Lin'kova (Goryunova) in 2016. Before that I made textile dolls in the Tilda technique. This was my first static doll. I have a special love for her. She lives in my workshop. She was asked for a private collection, but I can't part with her. She and I are friends.
Why did you choose dolls?
- They chose me! Plunged me into their wonderful world full of magic. It is so fragile and vulnerable! It was the dolls that taught me to think in a new way, to listen more to myself, to follow my heart and to preserve my individuality. This world so fascinated me many years ago that I am still amazed by the simplest things!
What's your favourite technique?
- Boudoir doll made of wood. It has a special texture and is very pleasant to touch. I like the way the colours go on the wood. You can play with them. They go on different wood in different ways. You can experiment, which I really like. I like to mix wood and clay, to introduce various elements into the selection, which gives the work depth and a slight dramatic quality.
Which is more important to you - technicality or expressiveness?
- Technicality should certainly be at the right level, but without expressiveness the work cannot speak. Expressiveness enters into a dialogue with the viewer, conveying to him the idea of the creator. And it forms an emotional bond between the author and the viewer. The viewer, in this case the collector, responds to the sensations that the work evokes. He immerses himself in this energy flow, and if he becomes comfortable in it, it means that synchronisation has taken place. And this is important for the author. Works should live where they are loved not only for their beauty, but also for the opportunity to look inside oneself.
Do you have a personal secret to excellence that you can share with readers?
- The secret is love. You have to love what you do. And you have to work hard. You don't have to be afraid to be different. You don't have to stick to standards. And you should take mistakes as a way to develop and grow.
If your dolls suddenly stop being bought, will you leave this activity and find another one or will you continue anyway?
- Once learnt the love for the art of Dolls remains forever. Unfortunately or fortunately I don't have a single piece in stock, they are sold out at the creation stage. But even if they stop being bought, I won't stop making them. First of all, I make them for myself and I never think about whether they will sell. There is a thin line between business and creativity in art. If you cross it, the latter will be crushed by the former. That can't be allowed to happen. Art heals the soul of the person who creates it in the first place. What is made without the soul is not worth a penny.
Your wishes for aspiring craftsmen.
- First of all, I wish you the joy of creativity! And also inspiration, strength and patience in this hard work! It is very important to love your work, to treat each job in a special way. It is important to set yourself tasks and goals, to achieve them, to go forward, to hear yourself, to believe yourself, to love, to live.