Cape Town-based designer Jan Ernst is making waves as he hosts his first solo exhibition in France.
Titled Florescentia, Ernst’s exhibition is inspired by plants at different stages of their life cycles, specifically the lotus (Nelumbo nucifera and Nymphaea caerulea) and the poppy (paver somniferum L. subsp. Nigrum).
As a spiritual person, he referenced the blue lotus (Nymphaea caerulea) and the Eastern lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) because they have a deeper meaning.
The blue lotus was considered a sacred plant in ancient Egypt, associated with the god of resurrection and immortality. Meanwhile, the Eastern lotus represents purity and is a sacred plant in Hinduism and Buddhism.
For this exhibition, the artist used white clay because the black clay and terracotta he tried failed to evoke the feelings he wanted.
“There are similarities between the process of creating the vessels and the general theme of the work – a bit like Schrödinger’s cat, where the vessels may or may not have survived, depending on what happened during the firing. Every time you open the kiln door, the feeling of a great result and disappointment exist together,” says the artist.
Ernst’s first solo exhibition is currently showing at the Galerie Revel in France and can also be viewed online. It will run until February 2022.