Mountains have always provoked people's dreams and with a dreamer’s persistence Magdalena Nilsson continues working with mountains. The mountains were here before us and they will remain when we are gone. Mountains are beautiful, scary, impregnable, alluring and Magdalena interprets them in her own way, entering the height contour lines graphic landscape and letting the hills be geo-poetic objects and a melancholy slice of our place on earth.
It started a few years ago with the series Landscape / Kungslena, her own childhood place. Later, she gathered new mountains and other elevations and pulled them into her own world where the mountains become individuals. They can shed red tears or be delicate as pastries, they can crack, be covered in "good-looking, dirty oxide" or with glaze as freshly fallen snow.
Magdalena Nilsson ceramic topography is also a kind of meta-objects as pottery consist of shredded mountains; quartz, feldspar, kaolinit. Magdalena’s mountains seem to comment ceramic business in genera;, they are playing with the scales and allow us to experience the tension between the object and the landscape. The ceramics have also created a clean-cut humor, modern, cartographic and cool and entirely Magdalena's own.
The exhibition at Kaolin is both an ending and a starting point. Her expression has broadened into a room collage where ink paintings and pixilated images of mountains meets tiles where the contour lines have lost precision as if they have been dissolved by the rain, the solid flows, erodes, mountains are grinded down. It is time for movements, out of boundaries of the material and the disciplines.
Magdalena Nilsson has another side, where she works with ceramic decals. Catchy everyday objects with quotes, pictures, photos and jewelry. Recently she received a project grant from the Arts Committee to develop and build pictures in layers and make them live on ceramic surfaces, perhaps a test for future public commissions. But at Kaolin, she shows her mountains.
And no, they are not 3D-printed. Everything is done by hand.
This translated text was originally written by Petter Eklund for Magdalena Nilsson’s solo exhibition at the Kaolin Gallery in Stockholm in 2014.