Preta Wolzak

Amsterdam - Netherlands

The Kit

We are born pink or blue. Girls get dolls and boys get cars to play with. But girls might want to play with building blocks, and boys might want dolls. And after all, women too can do maths and construction, politics and rocket science. Back in 1842, miss Ada Lovelace wrote the first ever computer program. Was she given a doll to play with as a child? Her father was poet Lord Byron and her mother expected her to be a great mathematician, so probably no dolls in the house. Books, more likely. Did women who are now in high positions play with dolls in pink little rooms? Are highly educated, technically skilled women raised with dolls? Were strong women interested in dolls when they were small? And how about the freckled girl with a crew cut - which type of doll should she have as a role model? As a child Preta didn’t understand the concept of dolls. And she still doesn’t.

The Series

For the Dolls series Preta Wolzak went back to her younger days, when she took everything out on her dolls. She didn't understand what to do with the empty-gazed monsters with itchy hair. Preta couldn't hug them nor care for them. But she did want the dolls to bring her happiness. So she dipped them headfirst in tins of paint and hung them to dry on a clothesline in the attic. With rockhard hair and painted faces she did love them. Turning them upside down transformed the dolls - they became strange in a nice way and made her laugh. But taking them apart completely was actually the best fun.

The Bio

Preta Wolzak studied Monumental Design at the Gerrit Rietveldacademie from 1986-1991. Since then she has worked in commission in applied arts: she made illustrations for book covers, she designed and made furniture, designed exhibitions, designed interiors for private people and companies. Since 2008 she has made jewellery under the name Fortblink, and in 2013 she opened her creative store Old Fort On Dun on Oudeschans in Amsterdam. In recent years, she has exhibited twice at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and her work has been included in various art fairs such as This Art Fair at the Beurs van Berlage in 2015.