Astrid Dahl's ceramic vessels are stark and powerful. Inspired by the German photographer, Karl Blossfeldt, her work examines the exotic architecture of the botanical world. Working in unglazed white earthenware and stained black porcelain, materials chosen for their honesty and purity, she creates forms that are mysterious and sensual in their structure. Astrid's vessels contain a complexity; celebrating nature while commenting on its fragility and fleetingness; combining boldness with flow and intimate femininity. She retains an intense focus and determination to symbolize her explorations, reflections and connection to nature. Through her medium she plays with the elements of light and shadow creating forms that are ethereal. The manipulations of clay create an enchanting effect but this does not distract from organic forms that have presence, substance and seem alive. Astrids vessels maintain a sincerity in which the floral world has been synthesized and abstracted in their representation. She is not prone to explaining her process as she prefers that the viewer engage with the work on their terms; responding to it with their own feelings and therefore making their own conclusions.
Dahl chooses to refine the soft white clay of her pottery through hours of sanding and a delicate preservation of fine edges and sharp points, and the soothing effect of the process is caught in the cleanliness and ‘material truth’ of "My Flower”. The ascending complexity in terms of the biological motifs finds inspiration from the botanist Karl Blossfelt, and captures the same mix of scientific and aesthetic delight as his photographs of highly magnified pollens, flowers and seeds.
“Venus” has the honesty present in much of Dahl’s work, owing to the continued use of a clay which fires to a natural white finish — affording her ceramics a clean and monosyllabic presence that veils their complexity. A biological subsistence hangs over, the artist repeating patterns and forming a coaction between petals or flowers and the gentle swells and curls of porcelain.