Listening to the Sound of Nature
——The Ceramic Work Playful Muse
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Playful Muse is a work created by Ukrainian ceramist Marko Galenko in the 5th China Changchun International Ceramics Symposium in 2016.


The work is made of clay and is 90cm long, 16cm wide and 70cm high. It consists of two individual figures and accessories which are harmonious and ingenious. The figures are vivid and lively with strong personality. Looking like goddesses, both of them are slender in long skirts with protruding breasts and hair in a bun. One is sitting on the wheel and playing the harp gracefully, while the other one is playing the bagpipe intently. The work seems to make us hear fresh and sweet concertos just like the sounds of nature.


Muses, the goddesses of literature and the arts in ancient Greek mythology, are the general name of nine goddesses who preside over art and science. They are embodied in the myths and legends expressed in music, dance and poetry. They were originally the water nymphs guarding the spring water of the Mount Helicon and belonged to the category of nymphs. Later, Apollo, a god of Olympus was set as their leader. Muses often appeared at the gathering of gods or heroes, singing and dancing softly, or playing instruments. They were blooming with charm and elegance, bringing unlimited pleasure and joy to the gathering.

In Homeric epics, sometimes there is one muse, while sometimes there are several muses; but no personal names have been mentioned. It only mentions that they love singing and dancing, and can give encouragement and inspiration to the gods. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, they were daughters of Zeus, king of the gods, and Mnemosyne, Titan goddess. Scholar Alkman believes that they are older than Zeus and they are the daughters of Uranos and Gaia. Of course, the basis for the above statement on muses is still confined to legends, and there is no need to conduct too much research on it.

Marko Galenko is a very well-known ceramist and sculptor in Ukraine. He graduated from the Art Department of Odessa National Normal University in his early years. With years of teaching and creation, he has formed his unique creative technique and artistic style. He is good at combining realism and romanticism and creating vivid and distinctive artistic images based on real-life character prototypes (such as the works Natasha and Sled), historical legends (Slavonian), or mythological stories (The Flight and The Love of Fish). His works have participated in numerous exhibitions or competitions at home and abroad, and have won the highest national award in Ukraine.

Marko Galenko is an artist that Changchun people like very much. He has been invited twice to create works in Changchun. He is kind, friendly, witty, and humorous and it is easy to make friends with him in short time. He has been working on ceramics in a meticulous and diligent way. He often works alone his studio till very late, with his sleeves pulled up and a towel for wiping his sweat on his shoulders.



December 12, 2017