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Motifs of Childhood: Art by Jeannie Polisuk

A painting of three childlike figures with stuffed animal facesTriangulation, oil and wax on panel

Featured artist Jeannie Polisuk works in painting and sculpture, creating sometimes cute, sometimes eerie works with the motifs of childhood. Stuffed bunnies in unlikely situations and poses abound in her painting gallery, while the artist’s subdued colour choices project an interesting and odd mood.


A painting of a large rabbit holding a young womanHolding Pattern, oil on canvas

Jeannie’s oil paintings are interesting in that they tend to use children’s toys – stuffed rabbits, bears and other plush animals – as stand-ins for real children. Sometimes the artist even goes so far as to replace the heads of apparently human figures with those of plush animals, or vice versa. The resulting paintings, also using a somewhat muddy colour scheme and a drippy, loose painting style, evoke feelings of nostalgia blended evenly with unease. The deep colours and mysterious, sometimes eerie subjects are reminiscent of the illustrations of Laurey Foulkes.


A screen capture of Jeannie Polisuk's websiteThe front page of Jeannie's website

Jeannie also brings the stuffed animal motif into her sculptural and installation work. Placing stuffed toys in glass boxes, or constructing a giant toy bunny in papier mache, the artist creates a looming eeriness where one might not expect it. 


A large paper mache sculpture of a white bunnyWhite Bunny, wire, paper and glue

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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