The Concrete Hearts
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The Concrete Hearts

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | SELF

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | SELF
Band Alternative Rock


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Garage Demos 2011



The origins of "The Concrete Heart"

In 1457, the Venetian government, along with the support of the church commissioned Lucia Bonchevichi, to sculpt a sacred heart to be displayed in the grotto of St. Bonovelli's Church. Lucia, daughter of Antonio Bonchevichi was of the only women sculptors (or sculptress) of in Venice in the 15th century and was chosen due to the reputation of her father and the close tutelage he provided in developing her talent in the family craft. It was frowned upon in this time for women to hold a hammer and chisel , especially if they were unwed, and if they were wed it was unlikely they would continue with artistic careers due to need of their attention to more proper responsibilities such as child rearing. Lucia was different than her peers. At the old age of 28, she was still unwed and unlikely to do so, despite her boldness and beauty. Perhaps being the youngest of seven children she was favored by her father in his old age, therefore developing his stern eye for social critique as well as his mild yet disciplined misanthropy.

Approaching a creation of a sacred heart was an easy enough task for a talent such as Lucia. However, she struggled with the concept of the subject matter. Perhaps influenced by the personal experience of her loneliness, family crises of their estate's wealth depleting and the struggles of the persisting drought leading to poor crops and near starvation of the city's population. Revealed to no one until the day of it unveiling, nearly six months after it's commission, Lucia Bonchevichi present her creation, The Concrete Heart. A cold, structure nearly three meters in length, closer to physiological characteristics of an actual human heart. Poured from concrete, rather than chiseled from stone it's appearance was raw, revealing the gravel of it's nature. Both the church Bishop and city statesmen declared it an abomination and sacrilegious. When questioned as to her motivation to create this monstrosity, Lucia pronounced her intent to display how she and others believe God's heart at times to be hard and brutish like concrete. Cool and unmoving. Removed and still. Despite the desperate prayers of the devoted, no consolation or answer appears, as if His heart was made of Concrete.

Lucia Bonchevichi was the first sculptor (or sculptress), to be imprisoned and put to death for heresy in nearly 20 years. Her creation was destroyed and the pieces scattered to make gravel for the expansion of the road past the southwest gates. Only rough sketches of piece remained and the trade of her family ended with her. Despite her demise, the sentiment of her creation had developed reputation. The saying, translated to english, "my prayers fall to God's concrete heart" became colloquial for the time and remains a saying to the Venetian forlorn to this day. A movement for her to be sainted had risen in 1653, but was rejected following several petitions.