Sigrid Espelien (b. 1984) is a process artist working with clay and ceramics. She is currently a PhD fellow in artistic research at the Art and Craft department at Oslo National Academy of Art. Espelien studied at the Glass and Ceramics School at Bornholm and received a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, USA. In the artistic research project “Grounding with (blue)clay” she explores connecting clay as more than a material for art production, but also as soil, landscape, earth, and land. She does this by reading clay through the body, the site and through technology.

A Conversation between Blue clay and

Kaolin 2022
Printed matter with text and photo

The blueclay in Norway is a glacial clay that was formed through mechanical vitrification during the cold ice age, 10-25000 years ago. The kaolin clay, on the other hand, was formed through chemical vitrification 200-145 million years ago, during the Jura period in atropical climate.

For Fieldstation 2022 I have been working with a lump of kaolin from the Ivö Island and a lump of blue clay from Oslo. We visited the island outside of Bromölla in 2021, and I was fascinated by the landscape and the geological phenomenon of how kaolin is formed. We didn’t have a permit to bring any sample of kaolin that time, but I was lucky to bring home to Norway a lump that the curator group SLAM had gotten permission to excavate in their previous residency. This kaolin lump has then been sitting in my studio for a year, surrounded by lumps of blueclay ,and eventually they started speaking together. In Norwegian and Swedish.During the residency I have been developing the idea further of what itwould sound like if they could have aconversation about background, age,class, nature, and humans.

Photos by Tina Stridfeldt

Films by Filip Tell

Komplettering SLAM - 9
Komplettering SLAM - 16