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LOFOTEN I-IIX 2018

A series of eight ceramic models. (8 x 800 g of stoneware).

Can form be created in collaboration with a landscape? Maybe this is a hypothetical question, but never the less this is what this series of models is about. To create together is to me to an act of sympathy.

And therefore a little about sympathy; the author and architect Lars Spuybroek describes sympathy as “a term with a magical ring to it, indicating the deep-rooted engagement between us and things, deeper than any aesthetic judgment will allow”(1) and also that “sympathy is what things feel when they shape each other.”(2) He states that “Things do not exist alone, they exist in relation with others”(3) and that “all relations are felt relations”.(4) The political theorist and philosopher Jane Bennett describe sympathy “as a resonance that does not collapse into a simple sameness”.(5)

Over the years I have become completely intrigued by seeing images from Lofoten, an archipelago in the north of Norway. For some time I wanted to go and experience these amazing formations of rocks. I went there in august 2018, and while staying at a residence at Nordnorsk Kunstnersenter in Svolvær, I walked and hiked in the landscape. On these excursions I carried with me clay for modelling. When I experience sympathy for a formation in the mountains I stopped on my path and shaped a piece of clay. I can also describe this experience of sympathy as an intuitive feeling of a relation towards a certain part of the mountains. A kind of calling for my attention.

The shaping of each model was intuitive. At the same time my hands was forming the clay I tried to stay present in my felt relation with the formation. None of the times I tried to copy or make a representation of the physical form of a part of the mountains.

Afterwards I did draw patterns on the models. Patterns which I think can be recreated as spatial ornaments into architectural structures. When I look at this series it occurs to me that the upper parts of the models have silhouettes and appearance which looks human and at the lower part they are grounded like mountains.
I think these models point to a possible process and direction of creating architectural structures which can become felt and thereby more integrated into our lives, landscape and planet.

Notes:

(1) Spuybroek, Lars. The Sympathy of Things -Ruskin and the ecology of design. V2_Publishing, Rotterdam, 2011. p. 146.

(2) “-“p. 148.

(3) “-“p. 150.

(4) “-“p. 152.

(5) Bennett, Jane. Vegetal Life and Onto-Sympathy 89-110. Keller, Catherine and Mary-Jane Rubenstein. Entangled Worlds: Religion, Science, and New Materialisms. Fordham University Press, 2017.