Love Jönsson, art ctitic, writer, curator and commissary at Röhsska museum in Gothenburg wrote a catalogue text about my work for Twelwe Hertha Bengtson grant recipients, an exhibition I attended which was shown in Krapperup Konsthall, Höganäs and Svensk form in Stockholm. Written by Love Jönsson and translated by Rebecca LandmérTo adopt the expressions of the type of hobby-oriented crafts you might find in flea markets and souvenir boutiques, has over the past years become an increasingly common strategy among young artists and designers. Oftentimes, the overall purpose is to aim criticism against traditional values of aestheticism. One wishes to question the division between high and low, and visualize the power structure that is claimed to be hiding behind the societal norms of taste. Linus Ersson, whose work often breaks with the established criterias of ceramic arts, is in some regards a definite representative of this young wave in swedish craftsmanship. Even for him, it is about polemics against the prevalent purport of concepts such as taste and aesthetics. But an even more important starting point is to, with clay and with as simple methods as possible, formulate a personal content – to cultivate the surroundings by way of thoughts, experiences and objects.
Similarly to many other younger, sculpturally bent ceramists, Linus Ersson works with porcelain clay. The clay he uses is produced in the renowned Limoges, France. There is thereby a connection to the ceramic tradition in the material in itself, but otherwise the methods Linus Ersson finds meaningful have often lacked role models in the profession. He gladly allows for chance and impulse, and has in exhibitions sometimes shown ephemeral objects made of clay, that were created on the spot. An open and experimenting process is in this case more important than the finished product’s possible perfection in craftsmanship. Sometimes he allows details in the technical execution dtermine, or problematize, the intellectual content. For example about a year ago he exhibited a group of porcelain landscapes, that at a first glance appeared to portray an idyllic future dream: a charming farm on the countryside, populated by the artist’s own family. But the landscapes, houses and people were modeled in a seemingly clumsy style and the idyll was literally crisscrossed with cracks.
In his latest creations, Linus Ersson has clearly found inspiration in a style that was developed by the french 16-century master Bernard Palissy. He decorated large earthenware dishes with naturalistic casts of animals and plants. In their bold expression, they both amuse and fascinate, but may also with their naturalistic lizards and snakes yield a sense of revulsion. They are borderline. Linus Ersson’s ceramic work also has its seat somewhere in the midst of this transitional border, between the beautiful or ugly, ingratiating or repellent, skillful or clumsy.