An exhibition of works by the furniture and spatial designer Clinton Stewart that “is an exploration, and observation of the way that we embrace and create associations images and objects that we interact with.”
Officinet - poster for Extract
This is a large scale installation by the artist Ingrid Kæsler that looks at how we see colour and how we perceive space and also explores the boundaries of the traditional techniques of how textiles can be coloured and how designs are printed or transferred.
At the centre are four large banners - they are described as membranes - that are hung one behind the other and you are encouraged to walk through the narrow space between them to see how the colours and sense of space and distance changes as you look along or through the work.
These banners all the same size but are made up from separate horizontal strips of polyester with 12 strips to each - of different widths and painted in strong acrylic colours. There are six colours, reminiscent of the colours of the rainbow but deliberately different and they are repeated in exactly the same sequence - so a run of six and then the same sequence of six to make up a complete banner. This creates what is almost a modulation or wave across the work as the banners ripple across the surface with the slight vertical folds of being hung free of the wall but also a gentle rising and falling of the bands of colour from front to back from banner to banner.
Each finished banner was laid out over a large squares of aluminium sheet that was turned through 45 degrees to form in effect a lozenge or diamond and the colour was transferred from the textile to the aluminium to create what are, in effect, translucent windows through which you can see through the work and see light from the gallery windows and the colours of the sequence of banners with a surprising sense of aerial perspective - surprising in that the colours are so strong but the distance between them is tightly confined. It is when you look through, from one to the next, that you see that the word membrane is appropriate.
One starting point or inspiration for the work was thinking about how light is refracted by a crystal.
The aluminium squares are actually made from four separate long narrow panels set side by side to form the square and with the colour transferred these have been set out on the floor on either side but not in the original sequence. Where the edge of the aluminium has left slight traces on the textile and where small areas of paint have not transferred each has a trace or an echo of the other so you can reconstruct where each aluminium sheet was placed when the colour was transferred.
The banners are 3 metres wide and three metres high and the aluminium panels are 1.5 metres by 1.5 metres so there is also a precise relationship between dimensions and scale and how we read space and proportions and about we do or do not make these connections.
glass by Morten Klitgaard
Bornholms Stemme / Voice of Bornholm - an exhibition on now at Officinet - the gallery of Danske Kunsthåndværkere & Designere in Bredgade in Copenhagen - has been curated and arranged by Bettina Køppe of the gallery Køppe Contemporary objects in Nexø on the island of Bornholm.
Bornholm is the large Danish Island in the Baltic that is about 35 kilometres off the south coast of Sweden. It's about 30 kilometres wide and possibly 40 kilometres from north to south and is renowned for it's landscape and for it's archaeology … with its position it controlled traffic through this part of the Baltic with major medieval fortresses. It's important not just for tourism but for artists and crafts makers who live here and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts schools of glass and ceramics are based on Bornholm.
The exhibition has works from four major ceramicists - Michael Geertsen, Nynne Rosenkrantz Christiansen, Christina Schou Christensen, and Jeanette List Amstrup - pieces by the glass maker Morten Klitgaard - works in wood by Tyge Axel Holm and jewellery by Kaori Juzu and Per Suntum.
detail of Barrel Ceramic by Chistina Schou Christensen - top right
Stoneage Decon ceramics and works on paper by Michael Geertsen - bottom left
ceramic by Nynne Ronsenkrantz Christiansen - bottom right
Tina Astrup graduated as a textile designer from the Danish Design School but also completed a post-graduate degree in furniture and spatial design.
Inspired by the timber and the colours seen in a local saw mill, where oak was stacked and seasoned, the work shown here is a project that has evolved over four years. She takes large disks of timber - sections of tree trunk - or substantial wedges of oak and baulks of wood and enhances both the pattern of the natural grain that mark the growth of the tree but her process seems also to echo mechanical cuts and saw marks that show how a tree is felled and the trunk cut into planks.
She uses vinegar poured over the timber that has been wound tightly with wire … a process that brings out tannins in the timber and creates slashes of dark colour in a way that echoes the effect when textiles are tie dyed.
This changes the character of the oak to make it darker both in terms of colour and in the sense of being much more dramatic.
We tend to see oak now only after it has been worked - so finely cut and planed and smoothed and pale - and see oak as the ideal wood for wide, hard-wearing floor boards or for strong finely-made furniture.
Along with beech and ash, pale or almost white oak is still a hall-mark if not the hall-mark wood for the modern Scandinavian interior. Through the classic period of modern furniture design, the English even talked about ‘light oak furniture’ to distinguish the look they wanted from the ‘dark’ oak of 19th-century and earlier furniture that was regarded as old fashioned or unfashionable.
But oak trees, in the wood or the forest, can be twisted and gnarled - powerful and impressive - and even disturbing.
The cuts and marks on these pieces by Tina Astrup reconnects us with what is, after all, the force - the almost aggressive force - of chopping down a large tree and cutting it into planks and should take us a step back from the product to the natural material and to the way we work with timber to see new possibilities in how designers could work with and use oak in very different ways.