In the Margins of our Minds
Gjertrud Steinsvåg, Director of International Projects at Norwegian Crafts.
Susan Holland, Education & Outreach Officer at the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland.
is a project, presented to 23 000 viewers at Dublin Castle in 2014, during the International Academy of Ceramic´s biennial general assembly. As part of the Dublin Craft Trail, a number of international projects took place throughout the city, and Norwegian Crafts was invited to curate an exhibition of ceramic works. Rather than presenting Norwegian art works in an exhibition space, the curators Gjertrud Steinsvåg and Susan Holland worked with three selected artists to develop site responsive projects. Evolving ideas within each artists practice have been reconsidered to address the nuances of three very different spaces within Dublin Castle: the Coach house; the Chapel and the Courtyard archway.
The artists Corrina Thornton, Katrine Køster Holst and Lillian Tørlen all have a have a background in ceramic art, they utilise clay in their respective artistic practices, and hold a deep knowledge of the material. Still, the strongest similarity between them is the sustained interest in how their objects relate to the surrounding world. The conversations that form between material and space enable the viewer to reflect upon how we define ourselves in context with the world around us.
In Køster Holst`s work artist elected to reimagine a vast flock of birds in porcelain, moving throughout and landing taut within the stunning setting of the Chapel in Dublin Castle. From the vaulted ceilings, thousands of silk and cotton threads fall, as rays of light, connecting with each bird. These threads define the formation of this flock of birds, while also interacting with the space and architecture of the Chapel. Køster Holst`s poetic installation was first shown in 2009, after her residency at the porcelain flatware company, Porsgrund Porselænsfabrik. During the residency, Køster Holst was given the opportunity to work with molds of “Fossekallen” (the European Dipper, and the Norwegian national bird), the molds were made by Norwegian designer Johan Sirnes (1883-1966) around 1930.
Where Køster Holst re-imagined a prior installation; Corrina Thornton’s work, , was the result of a new investigation. She connected with the history of the Coach House; built in 1833 to hold the Lord Lieutenant's horses, it was positioned to block the view of the slums of Dublin in anticipation of the Queens visit. Thornton developed drawings, text and an installation made with materials that relate to the Coach House’s past, and also her own. Each object mas made or chosen based on its personal significance and associated memories.
Thornton’s starting point was to find out whether the Coach House’s old memories would journey forward and find a point of exchange with her own, leading to a unity between them. The building tells a story of horses and people, disguise, pretence, illusion, and concealment. Thornton draws attention to the present and the future, asserting that it is not just buildings that change but that we also change in response to our environment and the situations in which we find ourselves.
Lillian Tørlen responded to the site with a ream of paper made of porcelain, made to look as they’ve been caught by the wind, scattered and held momentarily on the walls and crevasses of the archway between the two courtyards in Dublin Castle. Tørlen’s work responds to the archway; a space where nobody dwells, but rather drifts through moving from one place to another.
Venues: The Courtyard Archway, The Chapel Royal & The Coach House: The Morrison Room
Produced by Norwegian Crafts, supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dublin, the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and the Office of Public Works.