Where I Live, This is What the Sky Looks Like

Artist Statement

Clouds are nearly nothingness, a bit of dust and water. We put our hands through them without resistance. They are insubstantial, reforming themselves with such rapidity that we may observe their changing from one thing to another. Yet they affect so much; they allow or disallow heat and light, and everything that follows.

Porcelain is substance; it is as immutable and unchanging as any material. It is also made up of dust and water. In making porcelain clouds, I have tried to create an absurd object that may be a metaphor for the permanence of the ephemoral.

- Jeanne Quinn


White clouds are wandering across the blue sky. Sometimes raindrops fall when the clouds get too heavy and dark. Clouds can change in the blink of an eye, and take a completely different shape.

There is no doubt that ceramic artist Jeanne Quinn, from Colorado, USA, like many of us, is fascinated by clouds. "I think that there is something mystical about the sky, whether you are religious or not," she says. Her mother is a minister and her father is a pilot; could this be part of her interest in the fluffy pillows of the sky? "I never thought about it," she says, laughing.

The idea for this exhibition, now showing at Formargruppen Gallery in Malmö, came during a six-day road trip across the US. The continuously changing weather and cloud formations made her think about the nature of clouds. Clouds are almost nothing, just dust and water. But they can immediately change and turn themselves to black thunderclouds. In the light room of the gallery, fluffy clouds in different forms and sizes are hanging. From some of them comes come rivulets of glittering raindrops, "soda blue" as Jeanne Quinn calls the shining color.

Even though everything is made of porcelain, the soft things have turned hard, something that has become a sign of recognition in the works of the internationally well-known ceramic artist Jeanne Quinn. Additionally she has painted beautiful patterns on some of the clouds, inspired by Chinese tradition as well as patterns from the Royal Danish Porcelain factory.

Jeanne Quinn is Professor of Fine Arts at University of Colorado at Boulder in the United States. She has had numerous solo and group exhibitions and she is a frequent lecturer both in the USA as well as Germany and Denmark.

The exhibition at Formargruppen Gallery, Engelbrektsgatan 8, which lasts until November 26, is her first in Sweden.

- from "Keramiker på små moln" (Ceramicist in the Clouds), by Britt Yngveson. Sydsvenskan, Malmö, Sweden, October 25, 2003, p. C20. Translation by Jennifer Forsberg.