Thin Blue Liberty 2. Maria Koshenkova

Very Thin in a middle blue Liberty

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Photo Credit: Kurt Rodahl Hoppe. Copenhagen

Here you can see the sculptures i am working on right now- “Liberty Variations”

I started in August 2014 during my fellowship at Wheaton Arts , USA and time in NYC where I developed a body of very new works for me.

I want to express - through a sculptural language – that the idea of Liberty/freedom is a very personal thing. What makes one person free could make another feel locked up and depressed.

I really started to contemplate about this when I was working in the studio listening to a BBC coverage of the crisis in Ukraine. I have a foot in each camp so to speak. I am living in the west by choice. But my Russian background also gives me a deep rooted grasp of a phenomenon that for many westerners seem absurd – Namely that liberal democracy for some is perceived as anything but a symbol of freedom.

In all my works it is important for me to use local visual materials. So in this case I wanted to use the most American symbol of all – The Statue of Liberty. It is banal and extremely recognizable.

In the process I sculpted a copy of the face of the statue, made a flexible silicone mold of it and used it to make multiple positives and negatives which are deformed in different ways. The free deformation which I can influence but can not totally predict is an important theme for me as well as using both parts of the mold making is (positives and negatives).

I wanted to keep all the disadvantages and natural movements of the wax material I used for making the molds and preserve them in the glass. I also wanted to keep the natural ability of the glass to run out of the mold to show the contrast between this and more controlled glass shapes.

I explore my own freedom in this. I can twist the mold any way I want and then let the glass fill it the way the glass wants itself.

I use glass for these sculptures for two reasons:

1)- It is the most comfortable material for me to work with. 2)- It has strong own will (freedom) which I find challenging to combine with my own will.

So this work is essentially about freedom - exploring my own freedom to sculpt anything I feel like and combine this with material freedom. To combine chance and my own free will and try to send the message that freedom/liberty can be many things and to embrace the varieties of it.