Artist Betsy Youngquist creates three-dimensional mixed media utilizing beadwork, crystals, and found doll parts like eyes, mouths, and hands. The elements merge to create surreal creatures that exist between human and animal, mixing animated facial features with long tentacles or hooves. For the works, Youngquist and her partner R. Scott Long first cut apart antique doll heads to determine what sort of animal the face might inspire. Next, Long sculpts a form for the sculpture and Youngquist adheres an assemblage of glass beads, stones, and eyes.
“History and the energy of times past are contained in old materials, in addition to bead color and bead variations that you can’t find among contemporary beads,” the artist explains about her decision to use vintage beads in her mosaic-like pieces. “While playing in my studio I love the intuitive dance of selection, when everything starts humming along and I know which bead choices to make. Beads as a material are ancient and primal. I love that about them. There is also definitely a meditative quality to working with beads.”
Youngquist runs the New Orleans-based Gallery Two with fellow artist Ann Marie Cianciolo, and has work in the exhibition Season of the Surreal at Patina Gallery in Sante Fe, New Mexico from November 2 and through December 2, 2018. You can see more of her beaded sculptures on her website and Instagram.