The Dutch artist Cecil Kemperink creates ceramic chain sculptures using hundreds of interconnected ceramic loops. With a minimal and peaceful color palette, Cecil’s work is based on the exploration of ceramic circles, forming together delicate and fragile chain sheets. These simultaneously heavy and bulky structures play with rhythm, form, movement, energy, and sound.
Cecil Kemperink: It all started when I fell in love with clay and its possibilities. A circle was created every time I had to finish the top of a shape at the wheel. I started to use these circles as different decorative elements – soon they stood on their own, as autonomous objects. When I look back, I can see very clearly that my textile and fashion background (study) and my passion for dance (once I hoped to become a professional dancer) are reflected in the sculptures I make.
The Importance of the circle
Cecil Kemperink: Everything in my work is connected, we are all connected. Energy is everywhere and connects us all. When one circle moves, it affects all the others. Motion is a key part of the expressiveness of my sculptures. The movements show the importance of each circle of the object. Every ring is essential and influences the other; they are all connected, they are all one. Every link wears the symbolism of a circle: connection, power, endlessness, an ongoing movement. And: I work with clay, the earth. To get you, me, the viewer, connected to the earth, to feel the earth, to feel at home.
Cecil Kemperink: I like to invite people to touch …. when I am nearby. You need to touch and interact with the sculpture: the way it wants to move, not the way you want the sculpture to move. The sculpture decides which way to go. In a way, you have to release what you want and follow what happens with the sculpture. Give away control. And find/see new possibilities …let the sculpture leads you.
Cecil Kemperink: The contradiction between fragile and strong is clearly present in my sculptures. The circle is a very strong shape, literally and also in its meaning, but the slightest movement can destroy it before it’s fired. I use the kiln as a tool; I fire the sculptures many many times, so I work on one piece for months. My patience is being tested. Despite this, I have so many ideas: ideas continue to flow… I am blessed.
Interview with Cecil Kemperink | Photography Cecil Kemperink.