Life Patterns : decorative detail under the microscope

Whilst visiting Copenhagen, I stumbled upon an intriguing ceramics and textile exhibition at the Danish Art & Design Museum. Set in the textile sample room - drawers upon drawers of fabric and textile examples from around the world displayed in wide oak map drawers - Danish ceramicist and designer Helle Hove has incorporated the existing collection with her own ceramic creations.

Helle Hove : Life Patterns Exhibition

"Life patterns is not an exhibition of works in a traditional sense – It is a site specific project inspired by the character and ambiance of the exhibition room – a room similar to a laboratory or “ornamentarium”.” Helle Hove.

Life patterns explores our way of seeing, the room dimly lit with constantly changing hues, emphasising the small details we choose to see.

Each viewer is invited to place a small paper ring on the objects to frame a point which their eye recognised as particularly interesting – the ring presenting a suggestion to the next viewer.

Helle Hove : Life Patterns Exhibition

The light in the room constantly changes, the cool and warm tones react to your position in the room, changing the patterns and form of the objects sitting on the tables and the shadows that they cast.

What is most interesting throughout the exhibition is the way the arrangement of objects encourages the viewer to take a deeply analytical and scientific approach to viewing what are clearly decorative objects. Removing the decorative context, in dimly glowing petrie dishes the ceramic shapes become living organisms for the duration of the experience.