V&A Finnish Institute in London Ceramics Resident: Pauliina Pöllänen

4 April to 30 September 2016


Ceramics Resident: Pauliina Pöllänen

Ceramics Resident: Pauliina Pöllänen


Born and raised in Finland, Pauliina Pöllänen received her BA in Ceramic and Glass Design from Kuopio Design Academy in Finland in 2006 and an MA from the Oslo National Academy of Arts in Norway in 2012.

Pöllänen´s architectural ceramic works play on our constructed surroundings and understanding of the world around us, outlining organic shapes with a more intimate object scale.  Often engaging the negative space of an object’s form, Pöllänen creates imaginary and complex dimensions within her sculptures by playing with existing perceptions of these forms.

Drawing from modernist forms, Pöllänen’s abstract sculptures incorporate the bodily nature of sculpture.  The tactile process creates anthropomorphic qualities. The transformation from the positive to the negative in the hand-built work fabricates movement from internal and to external, thus allowing these seemingly invisible transitions that merge through forms in a concrete manner.

Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally, including the Design Museum in Helsinki, the National Museum of Art, Architecture & Design in Oslo, the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design in Tallinn, Ateliers d’Art de France in Paris and the European Ceramic Context 2014. She has been a resident artist at the The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, SERDE in Aizpute, Latvia and the International Ceramic Research Center Guldagergaard in Skælskor, Denmark.

Research Interests at the V&A

I am especially interested in the style and material shifts that span the decades from Art Nouveau through to Art Deco and early Modernism. The Victoria & Albert Museum is the ideal place to carry out my research because of access to the physical history of the Arts and Crafts movement.  I see many parallelisms between the development of the Arts and Craft movement and the emergence of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, and I am interested in exploring how Modernism’s obsession with materiality stems from those movements.

Visually speaking, my own artistic practice often consists of organic and geometric forms, a feature that is very much present in all of the styles mentioned above.

During my residency, I would like to create a new body of work that translates and articulates the objects from the collection in a different way and see what kind of dialogue can be created through the joint display of these objects with objects in the collection as a form of museum intervention.

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