All is Flux
Two objects of black-blue ceramic glaze, each supported by a wooden structure.
Different glazes poured into a rectangle in four thick layers and kiln-fired at 1280 degrees Celsius. In the kiln the glaze melts, boils and bubbles up, the process transforming the texture and appearance of the material and blurring the edges of the rectangular shape. A sudden reduction in temperature freezes the form. Different minerals in the glazes react differently to the heating and cooling process, which creates a new compound material with a complex tactility. Viewed from a distance, the objects appear identical, but seen up close, one is more black, while the other approaches a dark blue.
‘All is Flux’ is a radical experiment with enlarging and highlighting the tactile properties of ceramic glaze as a manifestation of the constant state of flux that characterizes the entire physical world, even if some transformation processes are so slow as to appear imperceptible. The liquid glaze is transformed in the kiln, but the apparent permanence of its new, solid form is merely an illusion, a temporary stage. Like a tactile snapshot, the work can be seen as a single point in the lifespan of the objects – just as there was a time before their current state, there is an ‘after’. Over time, the objects will break down, dissolve and re-emerge as new physical manifestations.
Ceramic glazes, black stained wood
H 198 x W 95 x T 5 cm
Ceramist, b. 1967
Gitte Jungersen treats ceramic glaze as a structural material in its own right, creating objects that consist entirely of glaze. She mixes her own glazes from scratch, experimenting with the chemical properties of different minerals. She aims to create glazes with a strong response to heating and cooling in order to achieve results that are as intense and unpredictable as possible. Her working process thus varies between carefully designed test series that give her increasing control over her material and the firing inside the kiln, where she has to relinquish all control, leaving the outcome up to chance and the laws of physics. A balancing act between chaos and control.
In the kiln firing she sees a parallel to the tremendous forces at play in geological erosion and the fire raging inside the earth’s core. She also draws inspiration from manmade materials – a petrol spill shimmering in a puddle, a melted piece of plastic, a brightly coloured ice cream wrapper tossed in a landscape. She incorporates this duality in her work, creating complex and ambiguous textures that could be seen both as primordial matter and as a manmade material in the process of melting and transformation.
Education and practice
2014–20: jury member, Danish Art Workshops
2018: residency, Danish Art Workshops
2016–17: guest teacher and external examiner at KHIO, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Norway
2014–16: expert advisor for the Hetsch Medal
2008: jury member, Biennale Internationale Vallauris, France
1993: ceramic designer, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design
Musée Ariana, Geneva, Switzerland
National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Trondheim, Norway
Public Art Agency, Stockholm
West Norway Museum of Decorative Art (now KODE 1), Bergen, Norway
Selected grants and honours
2017: Danish Arts Foundation, working grant
2017: Danish Arts Foundation, project grant
2015: Danmarks Nationalbank’s Anniversary Foundation of 1968, working grants
2006: Ole Haslunds Kunstnerpris, award
2000: Danish Arts Foundation, three-year working grant
2016: ‘Fireworks!’, Gustavsberg Konsthall, Stockholm
2015: ‘Zwinger und Ich’, Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall, Arendal, Norway
2011: ‘Thing Tang Trash’, The West Norway Museum of Decorative Art, Bergen (now KODE 1), Norway
2006: International Biennale of Contemporary Ceramics, Vallauris, France
2008: ‘Place for a Secret’, Designmuseum Danmark, Copenhagen