A poetic reflection on design
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Kasper Kjeldgaard’s ever growing body of work appears as a weighted and considered group of experiments – both physically and conceptually. Through the inter-relation of materials and forms, his work shines a light on how the industry of design impacts the world on a global scale, whilst highlighting our own personal relationship with nature.
Having graduated from the Royal Danish Academy in 2016, Kjeldgaard’s work takes cues from both design and fine art to produce unique sculptural constellations. Functional pieces are interspersed within compositions that present ideas of friction, gravity and rotation. These ideas transcend the fields of art and design, rather presenting foundational laws of nature within Kjeldgaard’s personal formations, as he explains;
“I find that the fundamental premise for the coherence of our physical world becomes a poetic reflection on what design is, and where the distinction between abstract and function lie.”
Kjeldgaard builds up his work through the sketching of shapes and compositions, and by looking at different structural principles. His material pallet consists of locally sourced beeswax, granite and horsehair, as well as brass and mouth blown glass. By presenting a uniform method of formgiving – the use of a conventional metal lathe to shape beeswax, brass and stone, assists in accentuating the unique qualities of each material. The delicate nature of how Kjeldgaard displays these materials is a driving force behind each constellation.
“Each material is carefully selected based on individual qualities and their interrelationship – how they appear together. Glass is fragile, light and transparent. Stones are heavy and give weight, thus adding balance. It is important for me that my objects do not hide anything – rather they lay bare their inner workings, available for decoding by the viewer.”
Whilst producing sculptural pieces that are often interpreted as works of an artistic practice, Kjeldgaard’s honest interpretation of each material is his connection to the traditions of Scandinavian design. While a pared back design language and use of natural materials may connect his work with the commercial Danish design scene, it is Kjeldgaard’s critical analysis of design that presents just one opportunity for a shift within the industry.
“We live in a world where designers need to take a long look at ourselves, to consider the relevance of our entire industry in relation to climate change and an ever-growing global network. The field that I work in does not bring the answers to the table, but I strive to ask subtle and poetic questions on those topics.”