A Conversation with Lone Kirketerp

© Judie Cross and Figure/Ground
Lone Kirketerp was interviewed by Judie Cross December 10, 2016.


Lone Kirketerp graduated as a ceramist from Århus Art Academy in 2010. Although she is relatively new on the art scene, after transitioning from working as a trained lawyer, she has had numerous exhibitions in Denmark and Europe. “Contemporary, evolutionary, raw, authentic, moulded, individual”, ceramic sculptures are words that aptly describe her artist’s website at http://www.lonekirketerp.dk/

Although you graduated as a lawyer, you have concentrated on your art as a ceramicist. How important is your artwork in your life and career?

For me a full, satisfying life involves making art and interacting with other people. My legal carrier is now mediation rather than giving legal advice, but art has been the most important part in my whole career. Art is where I create and deal with challenges in processes and this is extremely important in my life. I am normally a very impatient person, but creating ceramics is slow – the processes take time. You cannot hurry time in the oven or time drying clay. That goes on for days. But I love doing it. I love the transformation.

Interestingly, wet clay is pretty much like pizza dough. Not very sexy and not doing much for eyes looking for aesthetic satisfaction. Nonetheless, after the final burning with glaze, the clay is fantastic.  I am addicted to that transformation process. And then there’s the touching thing. My hands love touching the clay and my brain experiences so much pleasure when forming the wet clay. Apart from loving the transformation process, I love three dimensions since I’ve never fully engaged with the virtual world.

fg-lk-extrovert© Lone Kirketerp, “Extrovert” 2012-2013

What or who were important influences on your art?

I once bought a pink book in Berlin entitled “The artist who swallowed the world”. This was about an Austrian artist, Erwin Wurm, who is an artist I admire – his sculptures are wonderful. Very humorous and very wise. However, he did not have any real influence on the way I make my art.  He is just a great person and his comments on life are fantastic. My sculpture teacher,Thomas Andersson, is also great and he believed in me. Interestingly, there is a huge parallel between Thomas’ sense of humor and Erwin Wurm’s. I think Thomas is inspired to do crazy stuff. Anyway, I respect the works of both artists.

Most of your work appears to be made from and/or use stone, shell and metal, but this is not always the case. Water also features as a prominent theme.  Can you talk us through the process motivating your creations?

Well, what am I doing? This is the hardest question of all. I am a person working and growing in the present. The planning I do is in my subconscious I have some idea to begin with, like dimension, material and …an idea of the form, but very quickly I realize that I am forcing the material instead of keeping an eye on the gifts the material gives me.  I am very flexible if the clay tells me something, and I register all changes, remaining open to what they show me. So, I am not a story teller using clay to tell the world something important or telling the story of my life. I want to create forms, but not necessarily nice forms; just forms I relate to. Sometimes they look human and I give them a title that might lead the viewer to think of something. But I prefer the viewer to see his/her own story in the form; in other words, the organic shapes might remind you or lead you to remember something very personal.

I once wrote an article about the Danish Queen, who is a painter, mainly of landscapes. Her Majesty told me she always dreamed in colour. That was very interesting because I always see movement: dancing, moving, turning, but no colours. Hence, there is a good reason for me not to paint, but create shapes instead. My brain and my mindset see movements, rhythm and transformations.

fg-lk-introvert© Lone Kirketerp, “Introvert” 2012-2013

For example, my two sculptures, “Extrovert” and “Introvert” did not start out as human archetypes; they just turned out to be so in the process. That is the kind of gift I look for in the material. Personally, I have had experiences with the two archetypes in different relationships over the last couple of years and find it crazy that such very different lives are dependent on whether you are an introvert or extrovert.

Can you elaborate more on the almost magical transformation of wet clay after the final burning … To what extent do tones (rather than colours) play a role in the movement and rhythm of the shapes you create?

Oh, shades and tones are very, very important, especially in transparent porcelain. The sun through the material and the shades shifting during the day make the relief much more alive. It is part of the third dimension and means a lot to me. I love colours, but not when I make art meant to show reflections. I think my mind is much more relaxed and reflective when I do art without adding a lot of colour to it.

I think storytelling has more colour than what I do.

fg-lk-relief-horizontal-made-of-zink-and-porcelain-size-75-x-16x-5© Lone Kirketerp, Relief made of zinc and porcelain, no title, 75x16x5cm, 2016

You mention how your reliefs remind you of the ocean currents and movements and how you like to relate to the forms you create. Are you still in the process of naming the last two images or are you working differently in these instances.

I am doing a series during autumn – of reliefs and sizes and forms. I plan that the next relief will be more like thin lines than ” curly seaweed “, but I am using the same material and later, another kind. I expect to do about five reliefs. I am happy;, I think they look very interesting so far. A little bit like something from the ocean, moving in the current or waves. The porcelain is as thin as it can be and therefore, totally transparent.

fg-lk-relief-vertical-made-of-zink-and-porcelain-size-105-x-90-x-5cm© Lone Kirketerp, Relief made of zinc and porcelain, no title, 105x90x5cm, 2016

© Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lone Kirketerp, Judie Cross and Figure/Ground, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Suggested citation: Cross, J. (2016). “Conversation with Lone Kirketerp,” Figure/Ground. December 23rd. <http://figureground.org/a-conversation-with-lone-kirketerp/>
Questions? Contact Laureano Ralón at ralonlaureano@gmail.com

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