Selected works by Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer
Fly Away Peter


Wax, acrylic, eyes, mannequins, toy box

33 x 75 x 97 cm

All sculpture relates to the body of the person looking at it: it takes up the space of another human, drawing comparisons between the two. In Wendy Mayer’s work, the comparison is an unnerving one. These uncannily realistic mannequins need to be encountered by stooping or kneeling, so that the viewer is reduced to a child’s perspective, and it’s in that engagement with the infant point of view that Mayer’s work acquires its strange force.

Wendy Mayer
After Louise


Papier Mache, wax, acrylic, eyes, mixed media

85 x 70 x 70 cm

Children with unblinking glass eyes and rosy, innocent complexions stare back as though expectant of parental attention; their bodies are like half-completed toys, their crossed stitches demarcating shoulders, necks, toes, hearts. Stitching, and its associations with mending – whether toys, clothes, or human bodies – is a leitmotif in Mayer’s work. A family, gathered around an armchair as though preparing to pose for a family photo, embrace each other awkwardly: the mewling baby in the mother’s lap brandishes needles big enough to poke its parents’ eyes out.

Wendy Mayer
Gold Watch


Wax, acrylic eyes, wigs, mannequins, chair, needles, gold watch

100 x 61 x 61cm

Mayer has said that her work ‘plays with our perception of children as innocents’, and her sculptural dioramas draw parallels between childhood and violence; there’s fear lurking within. Mayer’s homage to artist Louise Bourgeois – the queen of the disquieting familial drama – takes the form of a giant ball of dark material, studded with pins. The artist’s head pokes out from atop a feathered collar, smiling to herself as though delighted with the unspooling disquiet around her.

Text by Ben Street

Wendy Mayer
Paper Doll


Painted vinyl, acrylic lashes, mohair, cardboard chocolate box, paper, wood, wire

31 x 21 x 18 cm


Artist's Statement

I have always been fascinated by dolls, puppets, mannequins and clockwork mechanisms, the surreal and the uncanny. My work focuses on memory, sexuality, childhood and motherhood. I mostly work with papier mache and wax which helps to reflect a sense of fragility and impermanence. My work is accessible whilst maintaining integrity; it can be experienced without exacting an interpretation but can hold the viewer’s interest for long enough to reveal deeper meaning.
'You have to watch what you say on postcards' is a deeply personal work about first love. The sobbing girl clings onto the string of the balloon, inconsolable in the inevitability of loss. The use of the photo montage stories from Jackie magazines is an ironic reference to the influences exerted upon my teenage self about ideas and ideals of love and relationships.