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‘Peach Melba’ is a delectable display of ceramic artistry at the Peach Corner gallery
The Peach Melba exhibition’s harmonious blend inspires a feast for the senses at Peach Corner gallery
Image: Ole Akhøj

‘Peach Melba’ is a delectable display of ceramic artistry at the Peach Corner gallery

From utilitarian objects to digital creations, witness the innovative ceramic works of 12 artists highlighting craftsmanship and creativity at 3daysofdesign Copenhagen.

by Aarthi Mohan
Published on : Jun 14, 2024

Just as the classic dessert peach Melba delights the senses with its blend of peaches, raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream, the Peach Corner art gallery in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark, offers a visual and tactile feast through its collection of ceramic artworks. On view during 3daysofdesign, this exhibition features 12 artists who utilise ceramic processes in innovative and diverse ways, creating pieces that surprise and captivate. In a world where materiality and craftsmanship are regaining significance, the Peach Melba exhibition highlights the deep, sensuous qualities of ceramics, achieved through a close interplay with the design process.

The Peach Corner, an artist-run gallery and exhibition venue serves as a vibrant platform for both Danish and international ceramics at this year's design festival. The exhibition space hosts curated displays and a 'Wunderkammer' (a cabinet of curiosities) featuring select pieces. This forum showcases a wide range of creative approaches to clay, merging crafts, design, and visual arts. Peach Melba exemplifies this diversity, presenting a collection of objects that balance control and collapse, from hand-modelled utilitarian pieces to digitally 3D-printed porcelain and sand-cast works. The design exhibition highlights the distinctive voices of each ceramic artist, showcasing their individual approaches to the material.

Artist Anne Tophøj explores functional ware related to daily life, particularly meals. Her work includes individual objects such as bowls and plates, as well as complex dinnerware sets that transcend mere functionality, emphasising the abstract notion of sharing our homes with quirky items that enrich our lives. She combines serial production methods with craft techniques, creating objects that blur the lines between mass production and handcrafted artistry, making them a conversation starter at any dinner table.

Bente Skjøttgaard expresses tactile moods in clay with her Family Trees series from 2023. Inspired by the microscopic cell structure of trees, her pieces feature a porous trunk mesh structure, foam glaze, and sand-cast pewter. These elements symbolise the calming, life-affirming process of new growth emerging from the old. The product designer’s work is a testament to nature's resilience and the cyclical process of life and rebirth, capturing the viewer's attention with its intricate detail and organic forms.

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Gitte Jungersen delves into the ceramic process as a phenomenon, where the ever-changing quality of ceramics mirrors existence itself. Her large objects, characterised by dynamic states of transformation feature layers of cobalt oxide-coloured glazes. The dramatic firing process results in vibrant materiality. Her work is a reflection on the dual nature of creation; how beauty and decay can coexist within the same object, contemplating on the transient nature of life and art.

Taking an experimental approach to production methods, Hilda Piazzolla focuses on 3d printing ceramics. She juxtaposes classic craft materials with digital creation, adding a personal touch through manual interventions. This blend of traditional and modern techniques highlights the aesthetic possibilities of ceramics. Her pieces at the design event challenge the perception of ceramics as a purely traditional medium.

Jeppe Søndergaard Hansen is motivated by materiality, preserving the peculiarities of materials and bringing their hidden aspects to the surface. He repurposes old bricks from Copenhagen's demolished buildings, melting them into fluid masses. This process transforms the humble bricks into new aesthetic forms. Hansen's work is a poignant commentary on urban renewal and the changing landscapes of our cities.

Happenstance and gesture play a central role in the product designs of ceramicist Johannes Nagel who focuses on traditional vessel forms. He explores the relationship between form and idea through techniques like sand casting. His approach brings a tangible presence to the creative process, capturing the spontaneity and search inherent in his craft. Nagel's work often appears as if it has been unearthed from an archaeological site, each piece bearing the marks of its creation process.

For Lisbet Thorborg Andersen mystic figures and faces in ceramic history, create figurative abstractions that explore relationships between humans, nature, and spirituality. Her reverse archaeology technique reveals future artefacts through cast excavations, invoking new interpretations akin to Rorschach inkblot tests. Her work blurs the lines between past, present, and future, creating a timeless dialogue through ceramics.

Ole Jensen has a peculiar interest in utilitarian objects that serve practical purposes. His recent work with manually modelled red clay items resonates with early ceramics and modern functionalism. The pieces blend primitive aesthetics with contemporary design, focusing on practicality and artistic expression. Jensen's ceramics are not only visually appealing but also intended for everyday use, making art a part of daily life.

Sisse Lee examines how objects and material environments change meaning over time, revealing insights about human nature. Her idea-based practice centred around vessel objects in installation combinations, investigates historical and cultural shifts in the value of ceramic items. Lee's work often incorporates elements of archaeology and pop culture, creating a layered narrative that explores the evolution of objects and their meanings.

Working with ceramic jugs, Søren Thygesen deconstructs and reinterprets the components of the piece such as the handles, spouts, and bodies as independent shapes. Using platinum lustre to emphasise the clay's nature, his work highlights the beauty of imperfections, with cracks and cuts adding unique character to the pieces. Challenging the conventional form of ceramics, the pieces encourage viewers to see beyond their traditional function and appreciate their aesthetic qualities.

The overarching themes in the works of Turi Heisselberg Pedersen are form, profile, colour and interplay between pieces. Her simplified vessels, seen as sculptural objects, explore the artistic potential of everyday forms. Pedersen's work often features bold, geometric shapes and vibrant colours, creating a visual impact while blending functionality. Her works invite viewers to consider the relationship between form and function and to see the beauty in everyday objects.

Peach Melba is a celebration of artistic expression, offering a collection that engages the senses and stirs the imagination. Whether through traditional techniques or innovative methods, the exhibition not only showcases the versatility and beauty of ceramics but also invites viewers to reflect on the role of materiality and craftsmanship in our modern world.

'Peach Melba' is on view from June 12 - 14, 2024, at the Peach Corner gallery at Frederiksgade 1, 1265 Copenhagen, Denmark.

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