How can an industrial technique, built on repetition, be developed to create unique works of art that at the same time contain an interpretation of the industrial tradition? It might seem contradictory – but that is what Hanna Hansdotter achieves in her work. With a large amount of sensitivity and appreciation for tradition and the craft of glass blowing, she brings her glass – full of individual expression – into a post-industrial Kingdom of Glass.
The ornamental bodies of glass that she creates, exist somewhere in between the depictive and the abstract. Despite their distinctive structure, they are not static, they express both movement and personal distinctiveness where each shape and colouring is unique. The decorative ornamentation – inspired by architectural elements – is clear, but so are the references to physical bodies. In this contrast a new world takes shape.
Hanna Hansdotter’s works carry marks, both literally and figuratively. There are visible, actual marks from the glass molds where the glass starts its journey towards a finished piece – a process which carries associations to industry and industrial production, but also to the individual expression that the piece acquires when it is no longer hemmed in by the mold.
The grid or stucco inspired patterns from the glass mold can still be seen in the petrified sculptures, despite them having broken through the rigidity of the metal and instead taking on a soft, bulging shape that erases the form’s strict lines. The molten glass is forced into the mold, into the framwork, the order and structure. But from there the practice and the perfection is interrupted. The molten glass is freed of the mold and shaped by hand – in a free flow outside the mold it obtains its individuality.
Perhaps it is an extrapolation of the human condition that is seen in the glass process? We recognise the order and the structure in the molds, the freedom in the movements of the hand. There is teamwork and serendipity, room for both tradition and exploration.
The exhibition at Kalmar konstmuseum is Hanna Hansdotter’s first in an art museum. Here she has added further layers to her objects and also worked with installations. This opens up her work to a wider perspective than that of the industry with its focus on the object, and it puts her art in a larger art historical context of both baroque and modernism.
The work of Hanna Hansdotter has been described as otherworldly. At Kalmar konstmuseum it is not just the object, but also the visitor, who becomes a part of that world. Like Alice, one is drawn into Hanna Hansdotter’s wonderland – “down the Rabbit hole…”