María Mercedes Zancajo
María Mercedes Zancajo was born in Valladolid on February 27, 1978.
As a girl, she became fond of pencil drawing, continuously making portraits and sketches of the human body. She plays to caricature her surroundings and turns her hobby into entertainment for herself and the others, who do not take that hobby very seriously.
At the age of 9, her curiosity about sculpture was awakened when, taking a quick look through a Sunday newspaper called El País, she discovered a picture of the ¨Allegory of the Apennines¨, an immense work by Juan de Bolonia. At that moment, her vocation is not clear, but she does have a dream; to be able one day to make with her hands something capable of moving as much as that human figure coming out of the rock.
Years later she entered the School of Art of Valladolid (Spain), where she attends the Bachelor of Arts.
The economic and personal situation of the artist prevents her from developing in art field for some time, so she will have to wait to return to the Valladolid School of Art. It is in this center where in 2011 she obtained her title of Superior Technique in Plastic Arts and Design in Applied Arts of Sculpture.
This opens new doors for her; That very year she got a scholarship at Temple Bar Studio, (Dublin), where she learned from the great sculptor and teacher Mike Duhan. With him she will also participate in several exhibitions in different locations in Ireland.
In the following years, the artist, or rather the craftswoman, as she defines herself, travels through Europe to discover (and fall in love with) the classical art of the great painters and sculptors of Art History.
She applies for a new scholarship, which she will get in 2016 and with which she travels to Pietrasanta (Italy), the cradle of sculpture in history. There she puts into practice and expands her knowledge while working and being advised by some of the best artists and craftsmen in the world. She is especially involved in the works that Versiliese Foundry, a reference in bronze foundry, develops on behalf of famous and internationally recognized clients such as Botero or Lorenzo Quinn.
And it is here where she discovers with surprise and disappointment, that the current art world is not exactly what she believed. Meet personally the artisans who work with their hands on those sculptures that will later be signed by internationally famous artists, most of them great merchants and public relations, but with little knowledge of plastic arts. This is a great deception for María, or Meri as her friends call her. She begins to have contact with the world of contemporary art, exhibitions and the superficiality that surrounds this field today.
She soon decides that this is not her place, that her true passion is the contact with the material that comes out of the ground. So she decides to get away from those who call themselves artists, to approach and live with humble employees who build the most beautiful works of art anonymously, for her the true ARTISTS, whom she admires and respects.So she chooses Pietrasanta as her workplace, surrounded by artisan workshops and foundries dedicated to sculpture. There she begins to develop her most personal work alone, in one of the workshops that the Lucarini family offers to her.
During the following years and up to the present, María Mercedes Zancajo continues to collaborate regularly with several artists and mainly with the Versiliese Foundry, devoting herself with care to what she really likes: the process of creating sculpture.