Mary Cour Burrows: Heart Ties

Published On 07/11/2011

Location: 2nd Floor Waiting

Memphis artist Mary Cour Burrows sought inspiration for her piece, “Heart Ties,” through handwritten letters from children across the country.

She asked children to answer three questions in their letters:

What do you hope for your families?
What do you hope for your school?
What do you hope for yourself?

Receiving responses from more than 200 children, Burrows discovered that happiness, good health and safety were common themes.

Not only do the letters represent different hopes and dreams, but they also represent children from different nationalities. Burrows received letters written in 12 different languages.

“Though the letters were written in different languages, people from different walks of life, the messages were the same,” said Burrows. “As humans, we all wish for hope. It boils down to hope.”

To showcase the handwritten messages, Burrows chose to create children out of ¾-inch birch plywood. She traced actual children to get a realistic, life-size image. Using charcoal and colorful crayons, Burrows traced words and phrases from the letters she received onto the wood.

“I love how personal and unique handwriting is to each person,” said Burrows.

A ribbon of edged copper weaves through each heart of each child, connecting the pieces together. Pieces of actual letters can be seen inside the hearts.

Burrows specializes in sculpture and ceramics. She graduated from the University of Memphis in 1986 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She has created several pieces of art for the community. Some of her work can be see at the Memphis Botanic Gardens, St. George’s Independent School, the Lichterman Nature Center and the Tennessee Environmental Commission.


If you would like to inquire about underwriting this or any of the other pieces in the Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Art Collection, please call the Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Foundation at 901-287-6308.