Anita Hanch-Hansen is originally from Moss, and now lives and works nearby in Rygge on Norway’s southern coast. She holds a master’s degree in Medium and Material Based Art from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, and has received a number of scholarships for her work –including the Norwegian Arts Council’s work grant for young artists. Her works have been exhibited at museums and galleries in Norway, Denmark, England, France and Romania, and have been purchased by Fredrikstad municipality and the National Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Trondheim.
Anita Hanch-Hansen works in clay and is concerned with the material’s history and frame of reference. In her practice she explores cyclical processes of chance associated with growth, transformation and decay. She explores clay and porcelain at various stages, such as unfired, bisque fired, high-fired, glazed and unglazed, in different combinations. She looks at the qualities that arise in terms of fragility, density, porosity, colour and strength. How far can you stretch and push the material before it dissolves?
The work comes to be through repeated rounds of modeling, dipping, pouring, firing, and glazing. Natural materials, such as rock, sand, shells, mushrooms, plants, twigs and bark are mixed with the clay in this process. The organic materials can emit color or leave structural traces after firing. In conjunction with the shape and presence of the objects, she is constantly developing new glaze mixes composed of different raw materials and built up into specific systems.
Meeting with the surface, color and tactility of the clay leads me into a world where the physical work is important. Clay is a part of the Earth’s mass and has been part of the formation of all life. Nothing around us is constant; everything is in steady movement, dependent only on time. I am inspired by nature, its vulnerability and strength, and draw parallels with inherent properties of materials.