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Irene Nordli

Irene Nordli Ceramicist
Norwegian, English
By appointment only
+47 91741468
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Probing porcelain's endless possibilites

  • • Irene's work reflects the world’s history, destruction and suffering
  • • She specialises in porcelain clay
  • • She is a professor in ceramic art at the National College of Art in Oslo

“I work as a way of thinking, creating and expressing myself.” A graduate of Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Irene Nordli’s creations represent her personal research in ceramic sculptures, probing the dimensions of the porcelain figurine and the vessel, which she models, builds, casts, tears apart and puts together in new ways. “I explore clay in all its forms. Liquid, plastic, moulded and modelled; wet and dry, soft and hard. I allow my hands to be wiser than my head, I allow my body to be involved in the decision-making process.” An exploration that has led to innumerable exhibitions and commissioned works, scholarships and awards.

Read the full interview


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1001 Nights

Irene likes to emphasise the sensual aspect of porcelain as a material. Her works are inspired by well-known fairy tales and myths, which she endeavours to bring to life by interpreting them in an original, personal manner.

Height 10 cm
Length 17 cm
Width 9 cm

Photo: © Bono
Porcelain Fever

This piece, finished with a white glaze, is more dramatic, distorted and feverish than Irene’s previous creations. The title refers to the European mania for porcelain imports from the Orient in the 17th century.

Height 21 cm
Length 36 cm
Width 26 cm

Photo: © Bono

Crafted in porcelain and finished with a black glaze, this statuette is evocative of bronze-cast sculptures. It represents a classical female form, animalised and perhaps asexualised by replacing the head with that of a bird.

Height 50 cm
Length 30 cm
Width 26 cm

Photo: © Bono
From the Sarcophagi series

This ceramic sculpture, finished with an ebony glaze, is part of a series of miniature sarcophagi. They are covered with various fragments and hold traces, remains and memories that have become twisted and cracked, reflecting history, destruction and suffering in the outside world.

Height 16 cm
Length 18 cm
Width 11 cm

Photo: © Bono
The Bench

Intertwined ceramic abstract figures on a human scale lie on a grey textile bench with visible mattress stuffing. The piece suggests movement, power and the rhythm of Baroque ideals, reminiscent of the time when porcelain was first produced in Europe and with the porcelain room as a reference and inspiration.

Height 80 cm
Length 160 cm
Width 70 cm

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