Malene Hartmann Rasmussen is a Danish artist living in London. She works with mixed media sculpture, making and arranging multiple components into complex narrative tableaux of visual excess. She tries to create a place beyond reality, echoing ancient myths from the Nordic Lands.
She says myths are ‘a way to explain a lot of things you can’t understand. Its about what goes on in the forest when the sun is going down’ she says. ‘There are many stories from Denmark about tree sprites and beings that are half plant and half animal; acorns turning into eggs for instance.’
Having worked as a cinema projectionist, Rasmussen turned her hand to making ceramics after joining a pottery evening class. From there she went to study ceramics at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Design in Bornholm and thereafter at the Royal College of Art.
Speaking about one of her most iconic pieces in the show Stocky Rabbit she says: ‘It was the rabbit I always wanted to have but was never allowed as a child. My sister convinced me to have a hamster which I was never entirely satisfied with. The pink rabbit is an all knowing little creative. You don’t know if he’s nice – you don’t trust the pink rabbit. He might look really cute but he might bite you.
Malene wants her work to look like a very skilled child could have made it, clumsy and elaborate at the same time. Initially the viewer may, mistakenly, be drawn to my figures thinking them to be toys; however closer examination reveals their rather darker narrative. They invite you into an absurd and surreal world where things are not what they seem.
MA, Royal College of Art, London, United Kingdom BA, The Royal Academy of Fine Arts School of Design, Bornholm, Nexø, Denmark
SELECTED SOLO & DUO EXHIBITIONS:
“Waldeinsamkeit”, Solo show, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, United Kingdom “Malene Hartmann Rasmussen & Mariette van der Ven”, Terra, Delft, The Netherlands “I Skovens Dybe Stille Uro”, Officinet, Copenhagen, Denmark “Nightfall”, Solo show at Jessica Carlisle, London, United Kingdom “Malene Hartmann Rasmussen & June Jin”, Galerie Contour, Aalbæk, Denmark
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
British Ceramics Biennial, Award, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom C’est le bouquet!, Fondation d’entreprise Bernardaud, Limoges, France “Material – Part 1: Earth – The New British Clay Movement”, Messums Wiltshire, Tisbury, United Kingdom “London Art Fair”, Jessica Carlisle, London, United Kingdom “Collect”, Saatchi Gallery, London, United Kingdom “Fire Works”, Gallery S O, London, United Kingdom “Carter Preston Prize”, Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool, United Kingdom “In the Dead of Night”, Jessica Carlisle, London, United Kingdom “London Art Fair”, Jessica Carlisle, London, United Kingdom “Jerwood Makers Open 2015”, Jerwood Visual Arts, London, United Kingdom “Jerwood Makers Open 2015” on tour: The Gallery at Plymouth College of ArtRuthin Crafts CentreTouchstones Rochdale “Animism”, Jessica Carlisle Gallery, London, United Kingdom
“European Prize for Applied Arts 2015”, WCC-BF, Mons, Belgium “Many a Slip”, Marsden Woo Gallery, London, United Kingdom “59th Faenza Prize – International Competition of Contemporary Ceramic Art 2015”, Faenza, Italy “Craft Emergency 2014”, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, United Kingdom House of St Barnabas, Soho, London, United Kingdom “La XXIIIème Biennale Internationale de Céramique de Vallauris”, Vallauris, France “Officine Saffi – International Competition for Ceramics and Design”, Milan, Italy “Fantastic Tales”, The Ceramic House 2014, Brighton, United Kingdom “Wonderland”, Milton Keynes Art Center, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom “Award”, British Ceramics Biennial 2013, The Potteries Museum & Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom “Craft and Design Biennale”, Rundetårn, Copenhagen, Denmark “Happy Christmas Clay”, Puls Contemporary Ceramics, Brussels, Belgium “This Is How To Live”: The National Trust, Red House, London, United KingdomThe National Trust, 2 Willow Road, London, United Kingdom “Nature”, VEGAS, London, United Kingdom“Clerkenwell Design Week”, London, United Kingdom Public sculpture for Ringsted Musik -og Kulturskole, Ringsted, Denmark “Designersblock”, London Design Festival 2011, London, United Kingdon “Mint Explores”, London Design Festival 2011, Mint, London, United Kingdom “New Designers 2011”, London, United Kingdom “Skulpturbiennale 2010”, Kongens Have, Copenhagen, Denmark “Out of Practice”, Siobhan Davies Studios, London, United Kingdom Tea set for architect Terunobu Fujimori ́s “Beetle ́s House”,”1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces”, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom “Ceramica Multiplex Triennale”, Varazdin, Croatia
Private collection of Professor and Architect Terunobu Fujimori, Tokyo, Japan International Ceramic Research Center Guldagergård ́s permanent collection, Skælskør, Denmark Ringsted Musik -og Kulturskole, Ringsted, Denmark
Lectures, Teaching & Mentoring:
Royal College of Art, London, United Kingdom Ceramic Art London, London, United Kingdom Cardiff School of Art & Design, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, United Kingdom Camberwell College of Arts, London, United Kingdom The Kiln Rooms, London, United Kingdom International Ceramics Research Center Guldagergaard, Skælskør, Denmark The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design, Bornholm, Denmark
Selected Books, Magazines & Interviews:
Observer, “Trolls, killers, watchers in the woods…”, full page, 20th November 2016 Crafts Magazine, Front cover and 8 page article, May/June 2016 Exhibition: Malene Hartmann Rasmussen “Waldeinsamkeit”, feature, web magazine 2016 https://cfileonline.org/ exhibition-malene-hartmann- rasmussen-back-with-more- narrative-heavy-ceramics- contemporary-ceramic-art/ Exhibition: Malene Hartmann Rasmussen “In The Dead of Night”, review, web magazine 2015 https://cfileonline.org/ exhibition-malene-hartmann- rasmussen-in-the-dead-of- night/ Malene Hartmann Rasmussen in conversation with Elinor Morgan, Jerwood Visual Arts 2015 https://soundcloud.com/ jerwood- visual-arts/malene-hartmann- rasmussen-in-conversation- with-elinor-morgan Ceramic Review, 2 page article, July/August 2015 Crafts Magazine, July/August 2015 “Unexpected Art”, Cronicle Books, 2015 “Three Years: From Thesis Show to Jerwood Prize”, web magazine, 2014 https://cfileonline.org/ exhibition-malene-hartmann- rusmussen-three-years-thesis- show-jerwood-prize/ “500 Figures in Clay Volume 2”, N. Smith, Lark Crafts, 2014 Traction Magazine, Interview, web magasin, 2014 http://tractionmagazine.co.uk/ post/69683445079/015-malene- hartmann-rasmussen “500 Teapots, Volume 2”, J. Lawton, Lark Crafts, publishing date August 2013 “High Touch – Tactile Design and Visual Explorations”, R. Klanten, M. Hübner, Gestalten “Salon”, 3 page article, December/January 2011/2012 no 12 “Fly Away”, 3 page interview, Cimber Sterling’s inflight magazine, November/December 2011 “BOB” International magazine of space design, November 2011 no 088 “Wallpaper”, sacred art photo series, October 2011, issue 151