The project and the establishment of the forum sprang from a shared desire to promote the production of and cooperation around Nordic contemporary ceramics. Despite the dismantling of the porcelain industry, the Nordic region has an innovative and vital environment of ceramic artists.
The goal of the project is to prepare a common presentation of contemporary porcelain by Nordic artists. A collection of artistic statements that reflect on the artistic potential, historic meaning and functional possibilities of porcelain.
We aim to create a forum for the exchange of technical and artistic experiences with porcelain through hands-on collaboration in connection with residencies and exhibitions.
The first stage of the project involves establishing a common forum with cross-border Nordic collaboration where ceramic professionals can achieve concrete results to be presented in exhibitions internationally during the second stage of the project.
The project has three target groups:
1. Professional ceramicists.
2. A broad Nordic and international audience who will see the results in exhibitions.
3. The Nordic porcelain industry.
The overall purpose is to explore whether there is a common Nordic tone or expression in porcelain making. The material originally came to Europe from China, and initial designs and patterns were closely linked to the Chinese tradition. Later, during the golden age of the Nordic porcelain industry, services and patterns were developed that drew on Nordic nature, with the Flora Danica pattern as the principal example. Today, the world of design is becoming increasingly globalized. Not only is production moving out of the Nordic countries, design expressions and patterns are also increasingly aimed at an international audience.
The New Nordic Porcelain Forum is a group of professional ceramicists who seek to reinterpret the Nordic porcelain tradition. It is a working forum that examines traditions and exchanges techniques with the aim of creating a joint collection of ceramic objects to be presented in museum and exhibition halls around the Nordic region. The first exhibition is to be shown in early 2021 in Kunsthall Grenland followed by international showings.
The first residency was held in Denmark at the International Ceramic Research Center ‘Guldagergaard’ in Skælskør on 4–17 November 2019.
The residency resulted in a common platform with the following key points:
- The Nordic approach
- The Porcelain industri and history
The workshop, where all 12 artists participated, included 12 master classes and intense hands-on work.
The task was to take on the material in an experimental approach and to exchange experiences in a close collaboration on common projects. During the two-week programme we visited Royal Copenhagen and were given a guided tour by Creative Director Niels Bastrup. We visited Cerama A/S, which is the leading Nordic supplier of materials and kilns. On the Danish island of Funen (Fyn) we visited the international ceramics museum ‘Clay’, which presents a selection of the 55,000 objects the museum took over in 2010 from Royal Scandinavia. We were given a guided tour of the museum’s unique and outstanding porcelain collection by Curator Allan Andersen. We also visited Trapholt, museum for modern art and design, in Kolding.
The artists decided to base their individual contributions to the common exhibition on the scale and artistic challenges and issues each of them addresses in their work. The exhibition will focus on the role of porcelain in history and the Nordic tradition and, not least, outline visions of the future relevance of porcelain in a Nordic context – both in the context of industrial production and as a free artistic medium.
Catrine Danielsen, Kunsthall Grenland
Bettina Køppe, Køppe Contemporary Objects
Bettina Køppe, architect, curator and gallery owner (DK)
Catrine Danielsen, curator and manufacturer (NO)
Irene Nordli, artist and former professor Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHIO) (NO)
Love Jönsson, museum director/creative director Rian Designmuseum (SE)
Mia Göransson, artist and former Academy of Design and Crafts (HDK) Gothenburg (SE)
Kristina Riska, artist (FI)
Artists in the project:
Sweden: Ann-Britt Haglund (Amba), Karol Zarbock
Finland: Kirsi Kivivirta, Pauliina Pöllänen and Veera Kulja
Denmark: Mette Hannemann, Michael Geertsen, Ane Fabricius Christensen, Anne Tophøj.
Norway: Andrea Scoltze, Martin Woll Godal, Irene Nordli, Heidi Bjørgan
Future residencies in 2020:
- Grenland 1400°/Porsgrunds Porselænsfabrik AS (NO)
- Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum / Ateljeföreningen G-studioen Gustavsberg (SE)
- The Arabia Art Department Society (FI)
- Norsk Teknisk Porselensfabrikk. Frederiksstad (NO)