Svein Hjorth Jensen, an approach.
Svein Hjorth Jensen came to La Borne from Norway almost fifty years ago. For about twenty years, his primary work involved the production of wood-fired stoneware pottery, utilitarian pieces such as jugs, plates and containers for use at the table, which were marked by a series of developments – what they all had in common was an affinity with aesthetics.
At the end of these two decades, the need for a renewal was felt very strong within him and the appetite for colour was awoken. He entered a new creative stage, a kind of break with a past marked by sandstone. He bought a gas kiln and set out to explore the world of glazes.
“At that time, I felt more like a colourist than an interpreter of raw materials,” he says, as a way of defining his mindset at the beginning of this new stage of his life. The world of glazes is a rich and complex one that is full of surprises. Combining one glaze with another gives one result, but a different result may occur if even a slight change in a single parameter is made. Overlays, densities, thicknesses, transparencies, combinations and contrasts of materials and colours create infinite possibilities.
“The method of firing adds to the possibilities; if I fire in oxidation, I can create a wide range of reds, if I fire in reduction, I create another palette of blues and blacks.” Infinite possibilities, that’s the right phrase.
Before every firing, Svein Hjorth Jensen carries out research and a series of tests. He does this by testing each glaze or combination on a sample ‘witness’, before attempting to fire the work he has completed. The creative work with glazes represents a long investment, spending time exploring, in experiments, and this is counted in many years’ work.
In his search for forms, he uses pictorial references and depends on his skill with glazes, but he also draws on his observation of nature for other resources. “I respond to a painting by Alechinsky, a Chinese or Japanese ideogram drawn with a brush, the detail of a photo, the bark of a tree, the silhouette of a tree in bloom standing out against the sky.” We find these motifs in his thrown pieces or his work made in slabs, his large dishes, wall decorations and tableware. He likes to say, “ I look around me, I draw my images from nature rather than from books.”
Exhibition from August 31 to Ocrober 8, 2019.
Opening Saturday, August 31 from 6pm to 9pm preceded by a meeting with the artist at 5pm.
Open every day from 11 am to 7 pm until 15 September and from 11 am to 6 pm from 16 September.