Dillidallier: Skellies and Bones

Dillidallier is a mother-daughter team who like skulls, oogly eyes, and brightly colored things. They are Anastasia Wasko and The Mama. Dillidallier explores art-making as a transformative psychological process. Connection, disconnection, and life cycles are recurring themes.

The Mama (Pat Wasko) is based Kingston, NY, where she scavenges thrift stores, tag sales, and curbs for pieces of kitsch to corrupt. Anastasia is based online. The Mama does most of the crafting, and Anastasia does most of the concept drafting, photo- & story-making.


Anastasia: I love bones. I love them because they carry our sacks of goopy organs and blood and shape the body, this wunnerful self-contained life unit. Bones hold up our physical shape, which gives us physical boundaries. I love the way the bones physically look, long or short and knobby and usually white—separate from the body system. I’m intrigued by the visual association of bones with death-things—bones are pieces that say nothing but “life” to me. But my experience of selling bone-themed pieces has only enforced a sense of a gaping hole, you know, a hole that leads to things-we-don’t-talk about. I want people to look at my mom’s skellies, the skeleton-re-painted figures, and be knee-jerked into contemplation about life via a visual of what we usually associate with death.

The Mama: I started making them a few years ago. I woke up one morning and just really needed to paint a gnome as a skeleton.

Anastasia: One warmish afternoon a few months after mom’s artistic super-impulse, I decided to take a long ride. I was in Kingston, in the Hudson Valley, New York. I turned off my GPS and just the car zoom south, zoom along route 52 through Pine Bush. I happened to pass by a large-ish farmhouse with a few concrete garden gnomes out front—they were unpainted and I was feeling daft enough to ask if he would sell me one—so I turned around, parked across the street, and went over to the front door to introduce myself. Turned out, the man who made them—Kentucky Bob, he said his name was—poured the molds his’self. He took me out behind the house, showed me his collection, his gnome séance, or, what he called the permanent arrangement of six gnomes in the garden; he said set them there, together, so they could talk to each other at night. I spent the afternoon listening to Bob’s stories and ideas. He sold me a gnome, too. The Mama was elated when I returned home and showed her. She named him “Darden,” the dead garden gnome.

Anastasia: And then the Mama couldn’t stop. She wanted more and was willing to branch out in forms. Most of the pieces the Mama uses for Dillidallier skellies are cheap, porcelain mass reproductions of mid-century and later kitsch—discarded or unwanted material made by machines, I just love that provenance.  Some are full skellies, some are havvies (part bone, part “normal”). I love that Dillidallier skellies are things, new life for dead-to-someone-else stuff. I often say that the skelly finds you, that is, it finds its home when the right person sees it and needs it. That person usually coughs up a very personal story for needing it; I’m fascinated by the ones I’ve heard. In other words, Dillidallier skellies are your friendly reminders to tell your stories.  

Fuck yes, bones!



Occulted Religion: Orgonite Pyramid

Pieces shown at La Matadora Gallery’s “Occulted Religion” show in Joshua Tree, California; December 2019

Materials: Resin, broken glass, copper-plated bibis, copper wire, glass crystal, broken glass (picked in 29 Palms), rough quartz (picked in 29 Palms), sand (gathered in 29 Palms), reiki energy

Sacred geometry attributes power to shapes and symbols like the square, circle, and triangle, which in 3D form, become the cube, sphere, and pyramid. The triangle is the alchemical representation of fire, change, transmutation. Occult knowledge allows a skilled practitioner to access personal power through a metaphorical and literal process of burning, changing, and transmuting layers of human experience. Three dimensional, low vibration matter is broken down and changed to allow for fifth dimensional, higher vibration alignment. People are in their power when in alignment with their higher self that is beyond time and space.

Each pyramid holds a portal to a higher dimension. The portal is accessible through the third eye. The land from the southern California desert is rumored to be a stargate to other dimensions; it contains traces of Earth’s fifth dimensional essence. This is why I added it to the pieces. The pyramids are within a square of reiki energy that is within a sphere that is calibrated to the violet flame: the piece is an activator, generator, and transmuter of light for the person who possesses it.  

I use pyramids on my altars. My time in the southern California desert has been a pilgrimage that realigned me with a personal power that is rooted in creativity and amplified by a spiritual connection. The desert landscape in southern California has allowed me to spend a lot of time burning, changing, and transmuting layers of ego that had distanced me from my creative process.


Vayux 2

Vayux 2 was written during winter December 2020/January 2021, a period in which I surrendered to the dissolution of one version of my life and opened to the possibility that light was at the end of a tunnel of darkness.

Vayux is an original character that has infinite permutations. Each serves as a vessel for creative expression. When I put her on, and live through her, and then take her off, I find I am a better version of my true self.


Vayux sat crossed-legged as crypto-crystalline dust fell around her. She wore a stone crown, which collected large and lithe gray flakes of the floating material. Vayux’s body, draped by a sari that wrapped around her shoulders and breasts and hips but left her belly exposed, towered over the remnant of ancient New York City. Large knobs of crypto-crystalline landed in her lap. Vayux looked at them through stone eyes, took them and bit into them with stone teeth. She chewed and swallowed and into nothing the human traces went; at the back of Vayux’s throat was a black hole. Her stone body, a the tomb around spacetime.

Ancient New York City floated outer space. Humans still lived there, but they were information suspended in matrices in the crypto-crystalline.

A birth was coming. Vayux consumed the knob with an invigorated ferocity, and her feet began to emit a trace of a heat signature. She ate memories, emotions; impulses—toward compassion, gratitude, hope. The material made more heat inside her. Human information: their pleasures, sight as bright bursts of colors, aquamarine, neon yellow, red;  their joy, swimming in dark, deep seas latticed by radiant sun beams; their delight, dancing in crowded rooms; their liking of scents, coffee and rain on hot pavement—all fell back into spacetime.

Vayux turned toward the fireball that raged through outer space.

The birth had arrived. Vayux’s stone body perceived a change in pressure of the space time around her. Flakes swirled, dust trails, tiny tornado vortices collected at the bottoms of her feet.

            And then, a silent explosion, a burst of light: a hardened, tiny body appeared out of the flame in front of Vayux. She leaned forward and grabbed the solid-block. Heat had moved from her feet through her body to her hands, and they melted the material around a human fully-formed, and the human started to melt too, bleeding trails of pinkish-red liquid at the force of Vayux’s heat, and the blood swirled around her, joining the flakes, dust trails, tiny tornado vortices at the bottoms of her feet.

She took a bite out of the tiny human, her mouth filled of a large, crooked nose—consumed it. It was chewy and oily. Vayux reached again, and a tuft of eyebrow skin with the brow-hairs still attached came away—tiny under her large stone fingers. She consumed it and her cheeks puffed, stuffed. It tasted like hate and fear. This life had been hard.

            Vayux leaned in one more time, and tore in at the tiny body, tore at the heels with her concrete teeth. Her sharp diamond nails severed the tendon in each foot before grabbing them, shoving them in her mouth, too. She tore into the right hamstring of the form; eating, consuming, ingesting all of it. The body was small, but it caused Vayux to swell, and the ancient New York City cracked and groaned under the weight of her expanding body.

            And then, Vayux fell over, and started to shake. Her stone belly began to glow and cracks began to seep crypto-crystalline dust. The belly burst and a new human, male (infant, pink, naked, flesh), the tiny form rolled out, slid onto the barren stone meadow of ancient Central Park and came to a stop, curled in a fetal position. Lying sideways, the baby opened his eyes, stunned.

After every birth, Vayux needed rest.

She stood up slowly, collected pieces of her belly that hung ragged, wrapped them into the sari, stepped a few giant steps back, over the stunned tiny new form which would be tossed out on the wind when she had the strength and the gust was right.

Vayux birthed—dust or form—but it was the black hole inside her that decided whether the form needed another life or could retire its existence and become dust. If she birthed form, the form would be back again; Vayux would consume the life again, and the black hole would rip its essence apart again and would decide whether it needed to exist as form, if the life needed to exist again at all.

Vayux moved down a spire of an ancient road to her pedestal in the blackened water crypto-crystalline-solid material. She picked up her torch that lay at the base of the pedestal then stepped and raised her arm. She willed a cosmic lightning strike; it lit the top of the torch. Light cast over the ancient New York City, black crypto-crystalline rock and gray crypto-crystalline dust; and beyond, light dissipated in outer space.

Vayux saw that dust fell again on the ancient New York City at its normal pace. Her body perceived no heavy pressure. So she settled in, stood, arm and lit torch held up, and fell asleep, standing over her creation.

A mother’s work is never done.



Vayux was written in April 2020 during the first wave of coronavirus-related lockdowns, set against former President Donald Trump’s willful disregard of science and gaslighting of the American public.

Vayux is an original character that has infinite permutations. Each serves as a vessel for creative expression. When I put her on, and live through her, and then take her off, I find I am a better version of my true self.


Vayux sat behind a stone mound, which she used as a desk, as she sifted through the ruins of humanity. The place on Earth Vayux sat used to be New York City. Where New York City once sat, it still sits; Vayux, in female form, sat where New York City always will have been.

            Vayux’s crown collected large and lithe gray flakes. She watched the crystalline-transforming-material-suspension circle around her. This was her way, the gods’ way, of addressing the human civilization that annihilated itself through consumerism. Gods thought about the humans long after humans had disappeared from Earth. Human civilization will become crypto-crystalline constructions, compressed, holding the people and events and cities together in tight matrices in a material that folds and forms tiny recordings of the everything that perished. Earth, now phasing as a planet with a hardened surface, kept oscillating around an axis that sometimes tilted away from the Sun, sometimes toward.

Vayux, who sat cross-legged in a stone-lace sari wrapped around her shoulders and breast and belly, heard nothing from the meadow of Central Park and the worn-down neighborhood formerly called the Upper West Side. She collected dust on her stone body, too; every now and again, a larger piece of ash, a more-hardened knob of the crypto-crystalline remains of human civilization that rained from the sky, landed in her lap. She took those pieces and bit into them with concrete teeth. She chewed. She swallowed. Images of Earth flashed through her mind: fish of colors like aquamarine verde neon yellow, swimming in a dark, deep blue sea full of latticed networks of radiant sun beams, years old, dancing in the ocean’s water element. Vayux tasted gusts of wind that were salt, were sweet, were wafted from salt deserts and jasmine trees. She wasn’t attached, not to the images or to the smells or the tastes; she ate them and didn’t react to anything. Human civilization that killed the Earth, a civilization long past its ending, needed an audience; Earth had memory and killed human civilization.

The falling material hampered sound, because such was the nature of sound and the nature of air. Air was thick in the Earth’s ambient, and sound was no different and no match. Then, darkness; real darkness suddenly came. Vayux felt its presence through the change in presence of the air around her. More flakes landed in her lap. The air started to thicken, imperceptible, except for the sudden appearance of swirling dust trails that collected at bottoms of her feet, which were concrete-to-stone, feet leaning, edging up against the old Upper West Side; the tops of her feet more human flesh than concrete.

The darkness darkened. The quiet battened down. She consumed with more ferocity, and her human feet emitted a trace heat signature. The rest of her body was even more flesh-like than the top of her feet. Her humanesque body, which became more and more human the longer she stayed in the form to do her job, had exigencies: her stone-suit-body had needs. Her body had a metabolism to sustain. She consumed more and more. She ate memories, sensory experiences, love, hate, rage, joy, denial, compassion, gratitude, greed, angst, and pure love. Humans had a range of emotions. She at them all as she imbibed the flakes that fell like rain around her.

            And then, silent explosion: a body appeared in the air, a freezer-frozen hunk of human with orange skin. It fell from a place not far above the crown of dust that settled on Vayux’s head. And then, Vayux felt an urge that made her feel something: anger. She was becoming what she ate.

            Vayux leaned forward and grabbed the floating frozen-solid-chunk-block. Her softened human-ized hands had minimal warmth, but it was enough warmth to melt the ice around the human-remnant; the remnant started to bleed trails of orange liquid, which caught the heavy wind, and pooled. She melted more of the block and saw that it was a male. She took a bite out of his large, crooked nose—the first piece, consumed. It was warm and oily, even though this specimen had been frozen quickly post death and floating for many years. It was hard to determine when the block of bloated Patriarchal ideals had been preserved; it could have been floating in orbit around Vayux, and Vayux would have been none the wiser. Gods observe, but minions act.

The body of the horrible human yielded as Vayux reached again, and a tuft of eyebrow skin with the brow-hairs still attached came away under her stone fingers. She consumed, saw pictures, emolliated dark things, non-human things, and knew greed and corruption had infected this man. The supine body of the boy-child that fell in a brick of iced ash lay on the sheets of dark, black-ish transparent ice, which was the old Hudson River.

            Central Park cracked and groaned under the sound of her own expanding body, belly full of humanity’s legacy. And for Vayux, it was her nature to drift quietly away, in motion because Earth was in motion, even though she sat behind a desk. Gods have to write scripts. This was the office Vayux received.

            “Occupy the space where the fear lives,” said Vayux, to no one and herself; the statement was the ghost of the goddess’s consumption.

            Vayux leaned in one more time, and tore into the body of the boar that fell to old Earth. She tore at his heel with her teeth. Her sharp nails severed the tendon in each foot before grabbing them, shoving them in her mouth too. The hunger ignited in her concrete body by the anger that rises out of fear. And she tore into the right hamstring of the beast-child; eating, consuming, ingesting the fear at the root-heart of the patriarchy, the ideology of human civilization at its demise.

            And then, Vayux crunched over, and started to shake. The woman’s feet began to split, and she began to glow, and then she split into two, ejecting off a form, which shaped itself into a fully-formed mirror-male human image: Vayu. Vayux was no more; the woman Vayua sat behind the desk that was the old Upper West Side, looking eye to eye at the man Vayu, naked; Vayua was naked, too. The were made of the shiniest black crypto-crystalline material. No features, just form. The wind and flakes settled. The woman reached forward and embraced her fellow man. She loved him. She asked him, whispering in his ear, “So what do you say now??”

            “I’m sorry,” he replied.

            Vayux, who had been sent by gods to end the human world, had assimilated it.

The gods’ desire was to try again.