Did you have a stuffed animal as a child? Artist Augustina Woodgate grew up clutching her teddy bear, Pepe, until one day she reflected on her unconscious attachment to the keepsake. At the age of thirty, after moving to Miami from her native land of Buenos Aires, Woodgate sought to dissect the worn childhood memento and reconfigure its components into something new – a large-scale rug. Thus came about the Skin Rugs project.
The series, which took nearly two years to complete, called for dozens of stuffed animal toys accompanied with skill and patience. Woodgate used the “skin” of the stuffed animals to serve as the body of the rug, similar to an actual bear skin rug. Using somewhere between 50 to 70 found or donated plush toys, varying in colors and animals, the committed artist constructed a collection of giant rugs, each more intricate than the next. Even more impressive is the fact that Woodgate had never sewn before this project!
In the end, the hard work and time put in by the artist has paid off. Her unbiased approach to using colors really reflects her dedication, diligence, and eye for complementing hues. Her affinity for using swirling pigments reminds me of mandalas. The kaleidoscopic symmetry in the patterns also appear like colorful inkblots from a Rorschach test. Below, you can watch an intimate interview with Woodgate about her project as she constructs one of her pieces.