Katharina Klug sends her ceramic vessels into space at Lotte Inch Gallery

Katharina Klug at work on the wheel at her Cambridge studio. All pictures: Zuza Grubeska

THE Space In Between is filling Lotte Inch Gallery, in Bootham, York, with a sophisticated exhibition of monochrome porcelain vessels by Cambridge ceramicist Katharina Klug until Christmas Eve.

“This show plays with juxtaposing shapes, form and line and places these individual parts within the context of a larger installation work,” says Lotte. “It’s a show too that sees the boundaries between craftsmanship and artistic expression grow hazy.”

Known for her manipulation of graphic lines painstakingly hand drawn on to the surfaces of her fine porcelain vessels, Katharina’s body of work explores the spaces that lie between lines and objects as she moves her artistic practice towards something almost more sculptural, omitting certain elements to create new ones.

“The identifiably Katharina colour pallet and beautifully realised vessels remain simultaneously of themselves, and of something bigger, more powerful,” suggests Lotte.

Katharina Klug with one of her porcelain vessel groupings

Discussing The Space In Between, Katharina says: “This show, for me, is a further step into more installation-based work. I enjoy the challenge of a narrative-driven context.”

She asked herself: “What lies in between? What can you see only because you can’t see another? Can leaving things out, draw others? All these questions started me off on to this body of work. I’m delighted to have the chance to show it in its entirety at Lotte Inch Gallery in York.”

Katharina continues: “In the last few years, my work has become more about vessel groupings and ideas that involve more than the one individual pot. It’s almost like creating a larger canvas that’s split into several vessels.

“The monochrome works are an accumulation of vessels which together build up installations that let the viewer see them together as one piece.

“There are so many examples of collectives in the natural world that morph into new manifestations. The idea of many forming one keeps feeding my interest in making these pieces.” 

Katharina Klug working out “the space in between” her ceramic pieces

Katharina particularly enjoys how “the placing of the individual vessel creates a new composition with new views”. “Depending on the space, the pieces can be arranged to suit the environment but also to create a new dialogue in between,” she explains.

“I’m hoping the pieces get played and experimented with, to find new things beyond what I had imagined.” 

Katharina lives and works in Cambridge after moving to Britain from her native Austria in 2009. All her pots are made by hand on the wheel with pastels used to draw naïve, spontaneous patterns on to their surface: “the perfect canvas to explore space,” she says.

Her work has been shown in galleries around the country and beyond and is held in many private collections, and collaborations have involved her working with Heal’s, the British furniture and furnishing store chain.

Recognition has come with the silver award in 2013 and 2015 in Craft and Design Magazine’s ceramics category; a shortlisting for the International Nasser Sparkasse Ceramics Prize in Westerwald, Germany, and an honourable mention for two entries in the International Ceramic Festival in Japan in  2017. She has been a selected member of the Craft Potters Association since 2016 too.

Lotte Inch Gallery, on the first floor at 14, Bootham, York, is open on Thursdays to Saturdays, 10am to 5pm; otherwise by appointment on 01904 848660.

Charles Hutchinson