At first glance, the porcelain figurines of Louise Hindsgavl°1973, Denmark are disarmingly pretty and rather light and airy. They seem in one word nice. Look closer however and what you initially took to be simply classical figurines are not that at all. “Though I work inporcelain, I seek to challenge all aspects of the usual concept of porcelain figurines and by doing so, extend our understanding of what we humans are capable of becoming. I am indeed drawn to depicting the less flattering aspects of our human condition and of our basest nature.”
Look closely and instead of the pleasantly cute or even beautiful, you are confronted with disoriented, helpless individuals who are trying to find their way in a world that no one truly understands or who has much more than a modicum of control. Hindsgavl probes under the thin skin of glaze to reveal individuals, cruel yet innocent in their cruelty just because they do not know any better. “My figures are often a mixture of bits of man and bits of animal and in that way move their stories into a mythological world.” This is how she creates scenarios less immediately intimidating and entices the spectator a little closer. She creates the expectation of something harmless. What the viewer gets is in fact bizarre and surrealistic creatures engaged in strange and perverse relationships. Under their white, delicate, and genteel skin, they emanate violence, mutilation, obscenity, and dark humour. Everything is turned upside down. Class differences are momentarily abolished and repressed sexual energies are let loose.
“I understand porcelain as a highly civilized and refined material. However, I believe it is illuminating to use these very characteristics to describe the uncivilized situations that in the end can shatter society like so many fine but delicate works dropped, only to shatter on stone.”