Christina Peel




Hovedsakelig jobber jeg med keramiske veggarbeider og installasjon. Med utgangspunkt i materialets overflate, dets egenskaper og form bearbeides keramiske teknikker som trykk, innfarging og glasur. Dette danner elementer som komponeres sammen til ulike geometriske former, flatemønster og strukturer.

Jeg er opptatt av å skape en stemning og en dialog med rommet, og forholder meg til arkitekturen og stedet som en del av verket. Flere av arbeidene mine handler om natur eller hellige rom, som tilbedelse eller mytologiske fenomener i naturen. Enten i form av levende planter, fosforiserende farger som lyser opp i mørket eller visuelle gjentagelser hvor uendeligheten, kun begrenses av det fysiske rommet.

Christina Peel




Ram Galleri 03.10.09-08.11.09
Christina Peel / Darkness Reveals

Christina Peel (born 1977) began working on transferring images onto ceramic surfaces while still a student at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Today she works with ceramic, paper and plexiglass surfaces. In recent years she has created complete installations by moving her motifs from the gallery walls into the whole gallery space. The exhibition at RAM Gallery is a multi-media experience that subtly exploits the relationship between light and dark, between what we experience through our senses and what we experience spiritually.

Having been to China on a prolonged visit during her studies, Peel draws her inspiration less and less from Norway and increasingly from Asian culture. She has worked in China, Japan and India. From 2005 Peel began working with Chinese urban landscapes, using ceramic glaze applied with airbrush. The images are personal responses to a country undergoing rapid economic growth. These are motifs from the world’s most populous country, but they are devoid of people. Streets and facades bear all the hallmarks of quick construction, and are seen as a mystical and impenetrable urban jungle that dictates the conditions of human life. Striking features of these artificial landscapes are the fluctuating, shifting zones that seem to conceal something indefinable. The structures we see are familiar, yet they have a threatening quality.

Peel has subsequently concentrated on drawing elements from these Chinese cityscapes into the broader room of a gallery environment, as in her separate exhibitions in respectively Skien (Norway) and Shigaraki (Japan) in 2007. At the same time she began to use a phosphorescent glaze that glows in the dark after being «charged up» in the light. You see, as it were, a delayed image – a memoir, bearing the stamp of what has gone before, in the same way that the moon, reflecting the sun’s light, bears witness to the existence of day.

Christina Peel’s installation at RAM Gallery is entitled Darkness Reveals. It is a cycle, where a new recording of Gustav Holst’s composition “Ushas, Choral hymns from the Rig Veda” can be heard, music which follows the light as it first grows in intensity, then fades – and the spreading darkness reveals a glowing echo of the light from the phosphorescent images, with both the images and the contours of the room emerging. Then the cycle resumes, and in the resurgent red dawn everything that became visible in darkness returns to invisibility.

A circular pond of lotus plants dominates the centre of the room. The individual works hang on three of the walls. Among these we find engraved images of sacred cows on fluorescent plexiglass. There are also motifs of primeval forest; these are scorched on paper and partly overlaid with phosphorescent paint. For one large forest motif Peel has used silkscreen in phosphorescent glaze on stoneware. A whole series of smaller-scale motifs from Temple caves in India are silkscreen on porcelain. The entire back wall of the gallery is covered by a flock of birds rising from a huge nest, painted with phosphorescent and acrylic pigment.

Ushas is the Hindu goddess of dawn, and the word ushas in Sanskrit means sunrise. The goddess puts the evil spirits of the night to flight and greets the day – symbolised by birds – welcome. By virtue of being the goddess of dawn, Ushas is also a goddess whose life-giving rays create a new beginning each day. She carries on the role of the fertility goddesses of earliest times. The symbolism is developed through the representation of cows which, in the holy Vedic scripture Rig Veda, can symbolise light and sunshine. The lotus is a symbol of the sun, creation and rebirth, and it is often pictured as a throne for the Vedic gods. In this exhibition the forest images also suggest the original world – nature as it was before the arrival of mankind.

Christina Peel’s projects are skilfully executed and her work is of high quality. The concepts with which she works might appear obvious, but her art probes beneath surfaces.  When you look at her work you feel a strong undercurrent of deep significance. These are honest and relevant works of art.

In Darkness Reveals Peel offers a total experience for our senses and thoughts. This is a risky undertaking in our entertainment-dominated world, but she is prepared to take the risk. She has something to say and says it.


Steen Ory Bendtzen
Art Historian

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