White Heart Merlo
Hearts of glass, deliberately broken, imperfect and collapsed, still reminding very much of a heart - the most essential life organ and one of the most reproduced and trite symbol.
I wanted to imbue pieces with a sense of brokenness, fragility and durability –qualities
which characterize glass as well as the heart in its understanding as a symbol for
romance, love and life. Working on the hearts, I tried technically to play with the idioms
pertaining to the symbol – cold heart, broken heart, warm hearted, heart of stone etc.
Glass is, of course, shaped when it is hot and soft, when blown formed by the “life giving”
air from lungs. Then I create imperfections, make the shapes collapse in some places, and
when it is cold, I cut and grain it, bringing up hidden layers of colours and cracks to bring
associations to human anatomy as well as fossils from a time prior to human existence.
I aimed to make the sculptures resemble hearts but not copy them. For this reason I made
them black and white, to relate my objects to classic marble sculptures or to other
traditional monochrome sculptural media (clay, bronze, stone etc).
I was inspired by anatomic wax models made in Florence in the 18 century, which I first
saw and drew at the Josephinium museum in Vienna. Dramatic casting of real human
body parts made from such an unendurable material as wax - realistic and colourful
painted preserved for 300 years old.
Somehow the most fragile things can be the most durable!
I also made precise study drawings of real pigs hearts which are the closest ones to
human. These I took from a butcher’s shop in Copenhagen -”The pork meat market of
White Heart Merlo. 2011. Maria Koshenkova. Contemporary Glass Sculpture
Photo@ Lars Kaae. Copenhagen. 2011