To Danish sculptor Maria Rubinke, titles are of the utmost importance – and each of her poetic titles has been chosen carefully for a specific work. This series takes its starting point in wood and can be seen as an exploration of our connection with the world. These wooden children, cast in bronze but still incredibly life-like, draw references to the story of the wooden puppet Pinocchio, who was brought to life and told that he could only become a real boy if he proved himself to be "brave, truthful, and unselfish". A real boy, no longer controlled by the strings in his arms and legs. "I have often wondered if our soul flies around, somewhere above our heads, guiding us through life. As invisible puppetstrings," Maria Rubinke explains. These bronze puppets have received a black patination and appear burned or charred – and without any clearly gendered characteristics. While Rubinke’s work often is shaped through her personal experiences, she is determined to keep the narrative as open to the viewer as possible. Whether “the puppetstrings” are perceived as restrictive or as a tool to follow the will of a higher power, depends on the context of the viewer. But the artist notes that when the strings seem to be all tangled up, it can sometimes be due to our own self-doubt, thoughts and worries.
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