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WORLD ON A PLATE - studies in clay.

Exhibition at Gammelgaard, 8 January - 27 February 2011.

Together with Dorthe Andresen, Lillian Bannister. Lis Biggas, Ane-Katrine von Bülow, Ms. Gravesen, Elizabeth Lau Kieffer, Bertine Knudsen, Herdis Skafte, Marianne Thorsen and Mette Marie Ørsted.

As a architectural ceramisist, I work with decoration and experiential design of buildings and urban spaces.
The concept of working in a subject area such as a plate is alien to me, though basically the process is the same: working on an idea, form, structure, expression, storytelling...

While working on the plates for this exhibition, I became preoccupied with basic organic forms, an example being the leaf as one of mankind's first ever dishes.
Other familiar forms emerge, thoughts on the rim and handle spring to mind; sometimes the shapes are reminiscent of something creature-like: head, tail, etc.

- I took a slight detour into studies of plate/non-plate, e.g. "tongues" do not function as containers, but are similar to dishes. Some of my plates play on this theme, "showing off" while still remaining a plate with its ability to hold something.

Another approach to the dish came from oyster shells from Rømø; in themselves small magnificent dishes. What started as a fascination with natural organic form, evolved into studies in statics, - Arch and vault as supporting structures; pure building ceramics.

small leaf like plate
small not plate

Plate inspired of oyster

Besides our individual plates, we have collaborated on two joint projects for the exhibition.
One, Caryatids with Plates, is rooted in the female figures, caryatids, that bear the weight of the roof on the Artemis temple on the Acropolis. The caryatids of our exhibition carry plates.
What can be told about the female sex? Photo model or primordial mother? Hesitantly, I start with one idea:

She bears a load and must be strong - body, muscles ... She turned out to be nothing more than body and muscles.


Our second joint project consists of a small oval platter with a rim, a "classic" dish. What happens with this classic form when small additions, incision, and offsets are added?

Read the catalogue

It is worth noting that the caryatids in the temple of Artemis do not show that they carry a weight; they stand. And as with the real woman of flesh and blood, who carries heavy objects on her head, you cannot really see that she is carrying something heavy. With my first caryatid I would like for it to be evident that she is carrying a weight. - Weightlifter perhaps? The other has straight arms, - a different approach - she almost dances, - Circus princess maybe?

small plates

Helle Vibeke Steffensen     Overgaden Oven Vandet 82, 1415 Copenhagen K.     telephone: 30 27 86 07       email: