Meeting Luna Mara
How do textile and ceramics complement each other in your creative process?
Working with textiles came as a natural counterpart to my ceramic practice. While letting my ceramic pieces dry or rest, I sit down and stitch away for hours, almost in a meditative state. Both of these disciplines are connected by an underlying curiosity of rituals, symbolism and our intuitive connection to nature.
“Incidental”, “intuition”… Take us through your creative process. Do you draw a lot?
When working with ceramics, I use a variety of hand building methods that enable me to work slowly. Pieces gradually emerge and each one takes the exact time it needs. I’ve learned that forcing or rushing clay truly doesn’t work for me. When I’m stuck in my head, the energy in the result feels “off”. It’s a constant exercise to return to this intuitive state where the clay and I work together. I’m not completely in control, but I trust in whatever happens. It’s something I’m trying to train my mind to do more naturally, cause I believe this philosophy in general will create a more balanced life.
I do draw a lot, but not necessarily with clay in the back of my mind. I just draw shapes, and sometimes a vase comes out of that. More often than not I start a piece with a specific idea, but during the process I allow other things to happen and I usually end up abandoning my initial plan.
Can you tell us a bit more about the pieces selected for Volume Ceramics?
The pieces selected for Volume are a nice combination of works that came to life in different ways. Some of my favourite pieces are shapes I’ve been working on for a longer time, other’s are made in the exact intuitive state I described earlier. It also includes my favourite vessel and one of the last pieces I made during my time in Denmark. Using ash gathered from the fireplace at school, I made my first natural glaze and used it on my first slab built piece. This piece is very dear to me and I held on to it for a long time, but now it’s ready to go into the world ;-)
What brought you to the clay material?
During the last year of my Bachelor degree (Multi Media Design) I was unhappily searching for who I was and what I wanted to do, and I realized this whole design thing definitely wasn’t it. I felt a strong urge to connect to nature and to myself and somehow clay offered me both. I’ve always been drawn to craftsmanship, but it never occurred to me that I could study something like pottery, or that I could make a living out of anything art-related, even though I have been surrounded by artists all my life. After university my intuition lead me to follow a semester with ceramic- and performance artist Christin Johansson in the countryside of Denmark, who has had a huge influence on me.
Do you listen to music while working?
Although I believe working in silence can help me get to that intuitive state faster, or at least in a different way, I rarely do it – I just love music way too much.. I listen to quite a wide range, from MF Doom to Fela Kuti and Prince. Lately my workdays have started with a peaceful piano-playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7px7ihmksCwtEDDRPHAWWw (named after a friend who has a fitting song for every mood I’m in) or an instrumental one: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2jw1aZodainWGMAEXXW8jb I’ve also devoured every season of the podcast Dissect, where Cole Cuchna analyzes the music, lyrics and meaning of hip-hop albums like The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill or Damn by Kendrick Lamar. I love nerding out on stuff like that and seeing new depths in the pieces of art I love.
Where do you see your practice headed in the future?
I am applying for a few grants for 2022/2023, which would give me the freedom to invest in my artistic development. I’m getting more interested in sculptural work and I would love to create a larger solo exhibition. I feel the urge to start challenging myself to work BIG, and just see what will come out of it without being restricted by function or an expected outcome. I’m starting to learn what it is that I want to express, and I’m excited to explore these themes and their visual language even more!