Earth goes to Milan | New collection by Polish ceramicist Marcin Kuberna

Earth goes to Milan | New collection by Polish ceramicist Marcin Kuberna

The Polish ceramicist, known for his hand-shaped, minimalist and intuitive forms, will present his latest work at Milan Design Week.

Marcin Kuberna’s GRÔPK explores the convergence of sculptural minimalism and primordial artisanship through handcrafted ceramics. Following a career as a fashion stylist—including a stint at Vogue—the self-taught Kashubia-born Polish artist celebrates the slow, meticulous process and subtle inconsistencies inherent to his chosen technique that make each of his pieces unique.

His latest collection, Zemia (Earth), will be presented at Milan Design Week from 17 to 23 April. Marcin’s work will be on display in the Alcova exhibition space, which has been showcasing independent small brands in the fashion and design capital for the fifth year running. However, Alcova has moved to a new venue this year: the former Porta Vittoria abattoir will provide an exciting industrial setting for contemporary works, including the Polish ceramicist’s minimalist, austere shapes. The pieces in the Zemia project, just like much of Kuberna’s art, are a tribute to his Kashubian roots and the ardous manual labor of his ancestors.

This is what Marcin said to Hype&Hyper about the creative process and his art:

How do you overcome difficulties as an artist?
My work as an artist has helped me face the most difficult of times so far—the pandemic. The technique I use, coiling, requires full concentration, coordinating thoughts with planned movement, and it puts me into a kind of trance-like state. It’s almost a meditative practice for me. I gain a peace of mind from this process, which also transfers to my life outside the studio.

How do you connect to your Central-Eastern European heritage through art?
Born into a family of farmers in Poland’s coastal region of Kashubia, hands-on labour has always been woven into my life along with a reverence for nature and its potent forces. With their own endemic language and rich folklore, the people of the region are one of Poland’s few remaining ethnic minorities, which I like to embrace in my creative work. GRÔPK means no more than ‘a pot’ in Kashubian.

How does creating your art help the world make sense to you?
I use ancient coiling techniques to make vases, vessels, and sculptural objects. Mediating ascetic minimalism with sensuality and softness, the pieces are made to feel intuitive, to be held in hand, touched, and slowly discovered. A lump of the earth gets reshaped into a humble piece of handiwork, to bring the Earth into the Home.

Marcin Kuberna | Web | Instagram | Facebook
Photos: Martyna Galla

The interview originally appeared in print in Hype&Hyper 2022/3.

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