Dolls each with their own story

The Palace of Arts is hosting 2nd international Panna Doll exhibition

The Palace of Arts has been recently crowded with beauties in gorgeous dresses, angels with fluffy wings, delicate elves, cuddly babies, funny animals and admiring exclamations, thanks to its hosting of the 2nd international Panna Doll exhibition. Masters from various continents took part in the three-day event, entertaining visitors with their skill and talent. Happily, our Belarusian artists worthily rival their foreign colleagues, despite the latter’s greater experience.

Natalia Minaeva takes part in international exhibition of hand-made dolls

The exhibition also attracted collectors eager to find new additions, with many returning, bringing friends and family with them. Some made repeat visits to purchase dolls, as previously agreed with their makers.

Although only in its second year, the Panna Doll exhibition has already gained a reputation across the post-Soviet space, notes organiser Nadezhda Tsiganovskaya. Minsk this year attracted masters who have never before made the trip to former USSR states. “We were visited by 480 people from 20 countries — including Japan, Holland, Germany, Belarus, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. We are proud to welcome so many star guests. Artists from Mexico and France also came, having never before visited Belarus or Russia,” she comments.


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Among the many foreign stands was that of Sylvia Weser, with her luxuriously dressed dolls, often wearing costumes adorned with gemstones. Irina Goryunova, one of the most famous Russian masters of doll-making, brought her delicate beauties, while Lithuanian Alina Koldun presented her medieval and Victorian ladies. Japan’s Shinke Satoko displayed her angelic child-like dolls while Poland’s Natalia Sekreta drew a crowd with her teddy bears: much resembling the toys of our childhood.

It was impossible not to feel proud of our Belarusian masters’ works, which stood worthily beside those from abroad. Brest’s Galina Dmitruk entranced everyone with her luxurious dolls, while Yekaterina Grib’s charming teddy bears, pigs and monkeys (wearing cocked caps and sailor suits) were sold out by the end of the show. Inna Romanchenko’s Mandragora brand presented ancient and attractive forest creatures, while her latest collection is based on magical plants and mushrooms from the woodlands. Sergey Drozdov’s dolls are inspired by powerful steam-punk images, each accompanied by its own story, name, character and hobbies: a fanciful scientist, a fearless traveller, and a strong warrior. Anastasia Ivanova and Anna Chepurnaya-Oleinik’s fantastic animals also drew much admiration.


No doubt, our artists demonstrate a high level of mastery, original thinking and skill. Ms. Tsiganovskaya admits that much effort and time is needed to gather so many wonderful masters, with organisation having begun soon after the last Panna Doll fair ended. “We began searching for participants and agreeing future premises straight away. Our next project — Pan Teddy — will be devoted to teddy bears,” she explains. No doubt, it will be just as great a source of delight.

By Irina Ovsepyan
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