The Contemporary Art Society has recently acquired Nightfall through its Omega Craft Fund, a ceramic nest made of twisted black antlers, speckled acorn eggs and delicate butterflies. The work explores the theme of the forest and the wildland beyond the cultivated fields, which has captured our imaginations for centuries.
Nightfall encapsulates that most magical time of the day, twilight. It is when daylight fades (and with it our sense of security) that crepuscular creatures emerge from their dens and trees start to talk. This moment of transformation is embedded in Hartmann Rasmussen’s sculptures, the once soft clay now hardened into fragile ceramic. This boundary, between living and non-living, animal and human, plant and creature, is a constant source of intrigue for the artist. Each composition points to a hidden narrative, which we are invited to piece together from our imagination.
Swindon Museum & Art Gallery has a museum collection containing fine art, craft and local folk objects. Nightfall makes connections to these collections, demonstrating Hartmann Rasmussen’s awareness of ceramic history, whilst also being informed by a broader range of contemporary cultural interests. This new acquisition ensures that Swindon continues to be a centre for modern and contemporary ceramics.
Malene Hartmann Rasmussen (b. 1973, Hillerød, Denmark) lives and works in London. Solo shows include Messums, London (2019); Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth (2016); and Jessica Carlisle, London (2014). Group shows include Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2018); Fondation Bernardaud, Limoges (2017); and Jerwood Visual Arts, London (2015). In 2018, she was a resident artist at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.