Reinterpreting Family Keepsakes – In Tangibles by Stine Mikkelsen
How can we rethink the art vs crafts debate? The transdisciplinary practice of Copenhagen-based artist and designer Stine Mikkelsen seeks to uncover new ways in which design, art, and craft can interact with each other. With this intention in mind, through her minimal, monochromatic, and texturized works, Stine devises new materials and methods for sculpting and reinterprets the functional nature of objects. Importantly, Mikkelsen’s experimentation journey is informed by her interest in creating ecologically conscious designs.
Initially trained as a textile designer, obtaining a BA and a MA from Kolding School of Design, in Denmark, over the years Stine has focused her attention on experimental product design and sculpture. In this way, she has created sculptural-looking functional objects, such as lamps and chairs, and has developed innovative casting tools, processes, and materials. Behind Stine’s approach to art-making lies an interest in finding new ways of producing, using, and interpreting sculptural objects that are minimal, sustainable, and most of all meaningful.
For example, in her series of sculptures titled In-tangibles, Mikkelsen materialized the emotional connection one creates with everyday objects. These sculptures were inspired by the artist’s most important family keepsakes: Mikkelsen’s grandmother’s brooch, a sleigh bell passed down through her father’s family and her great-grandmother’s candy bowl. Stine brought to life these emotionally charged objects transforming them into abstract-looking sculptures made of hand-formed crushed stone and natural glues, a composite which Stine developed. Interestingly, each one of these pieces can also contain the “real object” that inspired it. They are as much sculptures as they are functional objects. All in all, these works are a conceptual version of a traditional family altar intended to cherish the artist’s family history.