Dune has been called the first ‘planetary ecology novel’, addressing environmentalism and ecology in the context of declining empires. Written 1965 by Frank Herbert it plays on a desert planet where nature has regained its power and new forms of life inhabit.
Sebastian Stöhrer (b. 1968, Freiburg, Germany) creates new forms of life out of clay, which have an unusual colorfulness and vocabulary of form. Starting from an idea in his head, he begins to shape the clay. He gets, as he states himself, help from the material, which tries to form itself. In addition to the clay, he uses various natural materials such as twigs and woods, which he integrates into his sculptures on the one hand as a supporting structure, but above all a collage of materialities emerges. With these foundations and his own personal language of form, which he has developed over a long period of time, he creates ceramic sculptures that seem to come from another world or from the depths of the sea. With openings, curves and branches that transform into legs, the sculptures are vitalized and suddenly recognized as independent organisms. These new forms of life are meant to inhabit the world. The glaze of the sculptures has an extreme luminosity and colorfulness, it seems almost liquid. The artist discovered the technique through a mistake in firing and developed it further. Because the glaze is burned at an excessively high temperature, the colour receives a strong shine and seems to flow into each other. Here, too, coincidence plays a role; not everything is predictable during the firing process. For the artist, working with clay is an intuitive work, but the glaze is an experiment for him, where he tries again and again until he reaches the desired color and texture. Stöhrer studied at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. His works have been shown at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Freedman Gallery in London and the Avlskarl Gallery in Copenhagen.
Tenki Hiramatsu’s (b. 1986, Wakayama, Japan) paintings interact with the viewer’s imagination. Eyes that become faces or animals merge into landscapes, which are formed from colored fields and visible brushstrokes. Glowing and unsettled sceneries with creatures showing sharp pointed teeth and eyes ripped open. Forms and colors change constantly during the painting process, transforming into figures and vice versa. Even disappearing from the surface. Painting is a changing process for the artist. A balancing act between abstraction and figuration, between humor and tragedy. In a painting, a lie doesn’t matter much and becomes the truth with the process of viewing. Hiramatsu’s paintings tell stories which are difficult to capture and continue to shift constantly. He is currently studying at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künsten in Karlsruhe. His work has been exhibited at Kunsthalle Basel, Orgelfabrik Karlsruhe, Kunstverein Rastatt and at GEISAI #19 in Tokyo.