Mirthe Klück | Artist in residence
Overview Moon White Rabbit, Mirthe Klück, 2021. Photo credits: Tomas Uyttendaele
June – July 2022
This project is part
of SEA Foundation’s longer-term
research on art and sustainability
in fold #04 on No hurry
From painting to ceramics
Mirthe Klück makes associative connections between material, composition and texture. She works intuitively as a painter, starting with something near. With material like sackcloth, styrofoam or a specific medium and combining this with painting or collage. Klück zooms in on elements, to give expression to the technical and abstract side of everyday perception. By treating matters of small concern with due respect, the results are images without narrative. The work explores the formal properties of the image and the ‘in-between space’. Within that context, Klück specialises in the spatial qualities of the flat surface and that which lies behind it.
Mirthe Klück started working with ceramics a little over a year ago. Her fascination for ceramics rose from her painting practice. While working in her studio, she looks at the oxides and minerals lying around that serve as pigment or filler. She realises the overlap with ingredients for the glazing of clay. In addition, her perception expands to the human body that is made up of the same chemicals used in her artistic practice. Therefore, from paint to glaze is a natural transition. While testing and playing with the materials, Mirthe Klück surprises herself as she progresses with her work at the studio. For example, she sees the curious cracks that appear in (faulty) glazing as an homage to painting. Specifically, where these painting cracks can be willingly created or induced by ageing.
Drive and disappointment
With a view to the recent encounter with this new medium, Mirthe Klück is determined to ‘crack the code’. She aims to use the different clays, firing techniques and glazes to fit her concepts and keep on perfecting the results. Ceramics, as a rich centuries-old tradition, does not let itself be worked that easily. Dependent upon complex chemical processes in each stadium of production, the nature of ceramics can have disappointing results. However, dealing with disappointment is part of the process, and the artist prepares to accept the laws of nature. She gets to know them better like an intuitive scientist. Her preoccupation with Japanese abstract glazes, that are notoriously difficult to work with, is a perfect example for this inner drive.
Meditation and glazing
While the mineral powders are in her studio, Mirthe practices awareness of her body and a certain acceptance towards the working process. Her personal interest in meditation helps to burst the illusion of perception. Becoming aware of the senses and letting go of expectations or narrative makes each moment a little gift of knowledge. Accordingly, practising meditation helps material research, rather than striving for success. Furthermore, meditation is a concept that comes back in the glazing tradition of the ‘leaf bowl’ and hare’s fur glaze. Specifically, the ash of a leaf fired in the bottom of a bowl reminds the drinker of the Buddhist Bodhi tree. It gives just enough theine to keep on meditating.
During her residency the artist connects to the theme No hurry. She continues to build on the icon of the hare as a mythical figure and an association with time. Moreover, she researches in a No hurry method: drawing intuitively and gathering notes from her retreats, for assembling a publication.
Bio Mirthe Klück
Mirthe Klück (1991, The Netherlands) graduated from the KABK in The Hague in 2014 and the HISK in Ghent, Belgium in 2019. In 2015 she won the Audience Award ‘Royal Prize for Painting’. She is the recipient of the Mondrian funds stipend for emerging artists in 2017 and was nominated that year for the Royal Prize for Painting. Klück is represented by Fred&Ferry from Antwerp. Also, she has a number of publications to her name and her work has been shown at the GEM in The Hague and Marres in Maastricht, amongst others. Mirthe Klück lives and works in The Hague.