Mette Bentzen and Lasse Kristensen, known collectively as Egeværk, create meticulously made sculptural pieces, while drawing on craft traditions dating back generations in Danish fine furniture.
The ICE series, a significant design project initiated with the gallery in 2019, is the result of a major body of practical research and design development. The concept originated from Egeværk’s deep-rooted connection to the landscape in their native homeland and neighbouring countries, specifically the harsh winter icescapes of Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The artists sought to capture the fluid aesthetics of ice in their opposingly solid medium of Danish Ash wood.
‘A strong wind at the coming of winter had caused wavy patterns in several layers on one side of a puddle – almost like a delicate frill… complex and breathtakingly poetic, microcosmos are a thing of great beauty. Poetry in stopped motion.’ - Egeværk
For months the artists transported huge blocks of ice to their studio to study the melting process under natural and controlled conditions. They examined its unhurried dissolve during moderate spring temperatures and the summer heatwave; they also manipulated the blocks by placing them under dripping water or drilling holes straight into the ice to stimulate the thawing process. Placed shoulder to shoulder in the workshop or on the harbour front, these blocks were carefully catalogued in photographs and used as inspiration in a series of carved maquettes. The final large-scale furniture pieces are the result of a slow and thoughtful process of making; they embody the language of ice in form and texture, achieved through Egeværk’s gentle and refined carving techniques.
Kristensen (1985) and Bentzen (1978) were both trained at the esteemed PP Furniture, a Danish joinery established in 1953 and famous for its large portfolio of modern Danish furniture. They are the recipients of a number of prestigious awards and accolades, including the 2019 Snedkerprisen (the Danish Carpentry Award). Most recently, their work has been selected for the Danish Pavilion in Tokyo during the Olympic Games 2020.