Re-collection

* ARCHIVE: 2010 - Re-collection | Comment

Re-collection

September 16-19 I presented Re-collection, a ceramic land art piece / performance at Hirtshals strand during CreaBiz Ceramic Conference 2010, an International Ceramics Symposium in Vendsyssel, Denmark. For more information about the symposium, please visit: www.creabiz.dk

Theme and Background: When I was younger I used to be a fanatic stone collector. I especially remember a stay in the Cape North area in Norway where I used to roam the beaches in search for stones. These stones were very special: dark red, olive green, striped and extraordinarily round and smooth. The area is, geologically, very old and I imagined how the stones had been there for millions of years, shaped by water, rocked by waves.

The act of collecting holds equal parts curiosity and satisfaction. The searching in it self is in the case of stones almost a meditative act, reinforced by the calmness of the surrounding nature. Keeping the found objects is a way to bring back both memories from that specific moment and the sense of fullness connected to it.

There is one question that I find connects the collector in me with my ceramic work. “What do we leave behind?”  For a maker of things it is a steady companion: why am I making these objects and for whom? I like the idea of my work leaving small, hardly noticeable traces and I’m interested in using clay in a non-traditional context, such as nature.

Description of the work: I made a large number of stone shaped, smooth porcelain objects. These “stones” were then spread along a fairly long stretch of the Hirtshals beach. Some were put in the water, other’s further up on land. Quite a few of them will probably get picked by collectors like me, but a number will mix with other stones and the beach sand. Maybe they will be found in a year, maybe in a thousand, maybe never.

This is a subtle piece, not visible at a first glance. The making of the porcelain stones and the spreading of them is, in a sense, the reverse of collecting. The process was documented but after that the pieces were left to them selves. When I returned a few days after the installation most of them had been taken by the sea or picked by people passing by.

Thank you: Maret Kjellberg for assisting in the making of 1500 porcelain stones, CreaBiz conference in Hjørring, Vensdsyssel, DK for inviting me to do the project and to Josh Copus, John Britt and Sharif Bey for assisting at the site and helping with documentation.