Malene Hartmann Rasmussen on film, fairytales and clay

26.02.20. Maker’s studio, London

It’s safe to say that ceramist Malene Hartmann Rasmussen is a one-off. I vividly remember first seeing one of her pieces in 2011.

If I Had a Heart I Could Love You was tucked away in a corner of an exhibition. At its centre was a wood burning stove but instead of logs there were clay hearts sizzling in the fire. Phallic wooden stumps grew out of the walls, while on the floor a pair of ceramic snakes appeared to be taking a distinctly Machiavellian interest in a nearby squirrel. It was obviously profoundly influenced by the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm but also contained more than a hint of Pop Art as well as a dash of David Lynch’s seminal Twin Peaks.

In this conversation we talk about how growing up in provincial Denmark, with a family that had more than its fair share of issues, affected her work; her love of traditional Nordic fairytales and trolls; a life-long fascination with film; and why her dog Django features so prominently in her work. Primarily though was focus on her love of clay and how the material has changed her life.

Find out more about Malene Hartmann Rasmussen

The Egg Hunter was part of the artist’s Fantasma [Ghost] installation in 2019.

Golden Goat is another from Fantasma [Ghost]

As is Violet Sleep. The show was originally shown in Beyond the Vessel at Meşher Istanbul. All images: Sylvain Deleu.