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Pilar Enrich Open Studio Show 2008

Mexican popular culture has often been at the core of Pilar Enrich's inspiration, with proverbs illustrated throughout different collections.

On this occasion, she chose to focus on the 'heart' as a giver of life, asking the public not to take for granted the time we have. A Mexican proverb states that "life hangs from a string and the beauty of it all is not knowing how long the string is".

This project mainly featured tin - "hojalata" in Spanish - as its principle medium. Tin happens to be one of Mexico's most underrated materials, often nicknames "the poor's man silver".

Wanting to attract attention to the subject of the heart, Enrich has deliberately chosen to paint on Mexican tin hearts and adhered them to flat tins recently collected in her everyday life...thus reflecting and symbolizing her heart stuck to London as her home.

Enrich is inspired by the "naïveté" and lack of pretension of Mexico's 'exvoto' artists. Not withstanding their simplicity, 'exvotos' (also known as 'milagros') hold a traditional role of gratitude in Catholic Mexico. The 'milagro' (or miracle) is "a manifestation of the Almighty to confuse the perverse, exalt and show a lesson to the loyal". The lucky ones touched by a 'milagro' feel a duty to share their miracle-story through an 'exvoto'.

Enrich played with the idea of tin hearts representing "exvotos" (translated from Spanish for a vow). The hearts symbolizing the miracle of life are attached to strings reminding us that its rhythmic contractions are not eternal.

This exhibition was supported by the Mexico Tourism Board in the United Kingdom.

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