I’m sorry to hear that. When did your interest in recreating objects in daily life develop?
Well somehow, when I look back, I have done this since I was very young. I never really had a proper dolls’ house as a child, so rather I transformed my entire bedroom into a giant installation of small miniature scenarios.
As an artist, I began making works in miniature again; creating small scenes on a large scale in cardboard and masking tape, which I then in turn either photographed or filmed. For my final degree show in 2001 at Edinburg College of Art for example, I did a piece, a slideshow, where I recreated places from memory in miniature places in Copenhagen where I grew up my grandmothers dining room, my mother’s kitchen, my childhood bedroom, etc. basically I made about 10-15 small cardboard interior models which I in turn photographed i.e. I photographed each wall in each space and then projected them at random on a large scale. As such the spectator had to reassemble each interior space in their minds eye. It’s only later I began working with ceramics, painting and embroidery.
In many ways you can say I use my own life as a starting point for what I do but I’m actually not really interested in telling anything about myself per se, rather I aim to trigger people’s own ideas and memories. I set the scene but it is the individual spectator that acts out the ‘play’ or concludes the narration through his or her own association and memory.
How influential was your environment in your art’s development?
I left school at 16 and I started working as a stage technician, at the same time I began making light-design for different bands on the Copenhagen punk/rock scene. This period has in many ways informed my work ever since, as it instilled this fascination with the notion of space; with venues and theaters and the stories they tell when empty. Basically these large dark spaces are made for an audience, when you work there out of hours it’s just a big black (and usually smelly) space which kind of hovers. It awaits the audience, awaiting what is to happen, the arrival of the musicians, the buzzing and talking, the gig, the ecstasy, the successes and failures that will occur on that specific night. This idea of the moment just before or just after something happens and this suspension of space as well as how these places are instilled in our collective consensus and in our memory fascinates me.
You could say my work points to our desire to give meaning to the world around us, the way we project our personal stories on to objects and places and create our own subjective reality. I work with flashes of memory, with moods and states of mind, fragments of individual and collective history that can be assembled into a picture of our past and thereby also point to how we perceive ourselves here and now.
Tell us about your process. How do you choose a moment or space to recreate? What usually catches your interest in these spaces?
Ah, well… the process of course depends on which media I work with. I have always worked in a lot of different media, such as painting, drawing, miniature, sculpture and embroidery. Lately, I have focused mainly on ceramics, making large scale ceramic installations. My work is primarily figurative; relating to real events, specific rooms, places and objects. I reproduce and restage. I change materials, scale and proportions, distort and displace. I hardly ever just make one of something and everything I do is usually also very meticulous so I guess an overall theme here is repetitive and time consuming.
How do I choose a moment or space to recreate? I’m not sure I can really answer that… how do you get an idea sort of comes to you and you pursue it until you know how it should materialized. I guess it is very intuitive; choosing moments or spaces. It is about finding a frame or choosing objects that can work as clues or spaces that sets the scene for that particular idea.