Joanna graduated from the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Konstfack) in Stockholm in 2008 with a master’s degree in Ceramics and Glass. Since then she has been working in her studio in the former Gustavsberg porcelain factory just outside Stockholm. She designs both utility ware and works of applied art, and in recent years has focused on pots for plants and with plant-like decorative elements.
- You could say that I work along two lines, she says. “One is restrained, quite classical and uncluttered. The other demands and occupies a lot of space – it is grandiose and embellished. To me, these two styles support each other like yin and yang. My work is continually being refined; a utility object can be developed into applied art, which is developed into art. One gives birth to another, as it were.”
The objects in the exhibition “Growth” have given life to each other. During a period when Joanna was using the wheel to make stoneware vases for plant cuttings, she needed a break from the monotonous movements. Inspired by her three-year-old daughter, who lives and acts with an inquisitive curiosity, and above all with a self-evident attitude of still being without any traces of patriarchal structures, Joanna took a new direction with the intention of owning the right to create with herself as the target audience. At first she used white earthenware clay but she soon began to colour it with pigments and crushed pumice stones. The breaks in her work grew longer and her work with these objects became as important as anything else.
She works in a tactile way, using rolls of clay to make rings that she stacks on top of each other, not always ranked by order of size or other ranking. The objects are voluptuous and some of them are faceted. Large “handles” that fulfil no function other than being decorative. The work takes time and the objects require space. Cylindrical vases with handles in grey and black stoneware were made in March 2018; with them she has explored how a simple and classical form challenges minimalism’s simplicity with the imprecise flickers of playfulness.
“My process is a voyage of discovery and an on-going dialogue with the material,” Joanna says. “I colour the clay with pigments and crushed stone, work the surfaces and bring out imperfections, experiment with decorative techniques and enjoy pink glazes. My intention with the work is that it should be a living experimental action with an artistic purpose.”