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Maude Marie and Other Curiosities by Pepper Roxas Until May 30, 2009 20Square gallery 2/F YMC Bldg.II, 2320 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City. Gallery hours are from 10am - 7pm Monday to Friday, and 1 - 6pm on Saturday. For more information, call 816-0044 / (0905) 265-0873 Isabel "Pepper" Roxas takes you on a dreamlike tour of her world in her latest exhibit. Mysterious and beautiful, each miniature sculpture and painting is exquisitely and delicately crafted to perfection. Roxas tells us how she created her strange and wonderful world. Where did your ideas for "Maude Marie" come from? The show grew out of things I love and enjoy–visiting Natural History Museums, sifting through Edwardian and Victorian photographs, specimen cases, creepy tales by Dahl, Poe, Gorey and others. Sometimes my ideas come from my everyday experiences and all that I read. Maude&Marie for example, is a direct result of a visit to the deliciously macabre, Mütter Museum in Philly. Other times they come by courier Owl from an anonymous source. You're known for being a graphic designer and an illustrator. How did you make the transition to making sculptures? I used to work in 3D many years ago–mostly creating booth and window displays for the now defunct, and sorely missed bookstore, Young Minds. I came back to it because I participated in an all-female show called Superficial. Bru (of Electrolychee) had challenged us to create pieces that were different from what we normally did. I had just finished a squid painting for a solo show a few months earlier, and felt that I could still extend that narrative, so I made "Calamaria," a little creature who was half-girl, half-squid. I realized I enjoyed playing with so many textures, so now I've been creating more and more of these little sculptures. You're now based in New York City. How does the city affect your art? I think my work has gotten darker since I moved here. It may have something to do with the sewer rats–the pitter-patter of their little feet haunt my dreams. Most artists nowadays are fond of making huge art works, usually the bigger, the better. Are there any reasons why your pieces are uniquely small? I like the intimacy of creating these little pieces. Making them small is an invitation to lean in close, the way you do when someone wants to share a secret. What have you been working on lately? Future plans? I'm working on an environmental book for kids, new paper products, toys and hopefully, another show. Photos by Raena Abella.