Syncretism, "The Mantles"

Syncretism is the blending of two different religions or cultures that make up a new religion, or a new cultural form.

In February 2011 I went on a trip to my native land Argentina, I visited the cemetery of my hometown and I saw in churches and other holy places images of non conventional holy figures. I was fascinated by how the catholic religion got mixed with the pre-Columbian culture in Latin America. There are many examples of it: “Gauchito Gil” and “La Difunta Correa” in Argentina, “San La Muerte” in Mexico, “Día de las Ñatitas” in Bolivia, etc.
My grandmother used to have a small altar with religious images, images of virgins and photos of her deceased mother and other family members, for which she prayed every night. My fascination for religious imagery started from there.

As far as Mantles are concerned, I got inspiration from a small statue of the Virgin Mary that my mother has owned since she was fifteen. I developed the symbol of the mantles from my own syncretic prospective and I decided to give a further meaning to them.
The Mantles” are the representation of the spiritual emptiness and the disappearance of religion in current society – perhaps the result of consumerism. They represent the difference between the country where I come from and the one where I now live. I am myslef also a result of syncretism, I am the fusion between these two cultures.

By developing the concept, I researched about the use of sinter engobe and I applied it on ceramics. I have tried to recreate the coat that the advancing time develops on ancient surfaces and the memory that such objects carry. The final work is a combination of ceramics and other recycled materials.

Pablo Ponce