Copenhagen Ceramics, is an artist run gallery space that aims to showcase and demonstrate the high quality and great diversity of contemporary Danish ceramics, as well as work by selected international artists. Bente Skjøttgaard is one of the founding members of this collective, and her latest works are now on display in a solo exhibition titled Cumulonimbus.
Turning down a back alley and climbing several flights of steps in a dark stairway, I arrive at the top floor to enter an extremely bright gallery space featuring both large and small ceramic sculptures. Over the past five years Bente Skjøttgaard has been working with ideas around clouds as a starting point for these complex structures. She states,
The cloud inspiration continues to provide material for new ceramic ideas: the clouds must be floating and in motion. They should be intense synthetic marshmallows in psychedelic colours - the colours of the sky : red, orange and purple.
Before reading a bit about her practice, I was inclined to believe the abstract structures were constructed in such a way to solely show off her unbelievable glazes in the most dynamic ways possible. Setting aside her working relationship to the scientific parallels between clouds and ceramics, I simply see one who loves the challenges of working in clay. Like cake remnants dipped in confectionary, they are coated in matte glazes of various pastels. The glazes do very much simulate the consistency of marshmallow (however, I wouldn't use the word psychedelic to describe these works). Regardless of the semantics, I love them and I look forward to what Skjøttgaard produces in the future.