Danish ceramicist Malene Hartmann Rasmussen works with mixed media to create narrative sculptures. She uses simple, child-like forms and shapes, creating scenes that resemble something from a woodland fairytale, but like all good fairytales, her work has a darker side.
From the installation - If I had a heart I could love you - 2011
In one of her works, we see a kettle boiling on top of a stove in an idyllic rustic scene. Look closer, however, and you will see the words 'if only I had a heart I could love you' studded in nails above the hearth. Another piece shows her inner demons, squat scary trolls boxed in colourful niches. Her work is not explicit but contains an air of menace, a suggestion of darker things lurking in the shadows.
My Inner Beasts - 2017
"I want my work to look like a very skilled child could have made it, clumsy and elaborate at the same time. Initially, the viewer may, mistakenly, be drawn to my figures, thinking them to be toys; however, closer examination reveals their rather darker narrative."
In the dead of night 2015
You can see the influence of pagan culture in much of Malene's work. It's full of green men, trolls and mythical creatures, simple images that tap into the unconscious mind. Like a walk in the woods, things are familiar, but the deeper you venture in, the more unnerving it becomes.
If you are interested in seeing some of Malene's ceramics up close, she will be exhibiting in the UK in 2020.
22nd February to 5th April 2020