The Stoneware Ritual

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A series of sculptural objects that explore both tactile surfaces and ritual gestures.

Norwegian artist Kaja Dahl specializes in sculptures, products, and concepts that enable sensory experiences while also merging craft and design. She uses materials like wood, stone, ceramic, and metal, usually in contrasting combinations, in order to create tactile objects. Her Stoneware Ritual exhibition is no exception. Presented at the Galleri Format art gallery in Oslo, this exhibition brought together a series of sculptures focused on enhancing the tactile experience between user and object. Similarly to her previous work, the Stoneware Ritual exhibition highlights the richness in texture of the materials that surround us. At the same time, the sculptures reference humanity’s fondness for ceremonial activities. Here, the sculptures allude to ritual gestures through ergonomic shapes and the pairing or raw, organic forms with crafted objects.

For this series, the artist used stone and ceramic. The materials have different textures and finishes as well as contrasting colors and shapes. Rough and polished finishes of solid stone and smooth marble give balance to the matte textures of stoneware. Likewise, natural colors and the variations in pieces of natural materials complement the warmth of reddish terracotta and the intensity of black stoneware. Perfect circles and spheres add contrast to the irregular shapes of pieces of stone, while more fragile terracotta complements the solidity of rock. Made by hand as well as taken from nature, these objects create a multitude of contrasting combinations. The circular and spherical objects rest on organic elements, focusing the concept of the ritual on the sense of touch. Photography© Thomas Tveter, Kaja Dahl.

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