Interview and photographies: Catalina D’Andrea.
Lusesita is Laura Lasheras, one of the most important ceramic artists in the Spanish scene. She works pottery experimentally, creating collections of objects and sculptures that play with the boundary between the utilitarian and the conceptual, and establishing a very personal aesthetic vision in a poetic and pastel way but with a creepy touch.
She is currently developing a series of pieces inspired by street fairs, so we went to see her wonderful workshop in Poble Nou and talk about her new project.
Lusesita, what’s this ceramic ham leg?
Well, there is always miscellaneous stuff at street fair raffles. You can win a ham, a fake Mickey Mouse, an iron, a sandwich toaster. Nothing makes much sense; it’s like a metaphor for unconscious thoughts.
How did this topic come about?
Since last year, I’ve had it in my head because I went to some village fairs with my nephew and began to remember things from the past when I used to go with my parents.
For me, funfairs are very evocative. They are somewhat tacky but also glamorous in a cheap way. There are attractions that are a little scary and disturbing, but they also make you laugh. I try to recreate it all as if fading into a dream.
I always work with memories and stories of the past that are repeating: when I notice that a topic keeps appearing three or four times, then I work on it. I try to get it out of my head; I try not to work with photos or references so that nothing is too rational. I work in a fragmented and random way: I think of something specific, such as the materials trampolines are made of, and pull the thread until the pieces appear.
So aren’t you making any utilitarian pieces now?
Lately, I’ve been going back to the utilitarian. For example, talking of fairs, which are places where you can find anything, I’ve created this piece called “The Unconscious Dance”. It’s a tea set inspired by the ride “The Tea Cups”. As a child, I used to love to ride it as many times as possible to get a little dizzy. That memory gave me a lot of inspiration to make the pieces.
Your aesthetic is very personal. How have you developed it?
I’m very instinctive. Little by little has been appearing a kind of alphabet that has become my language, but I get inspired by references. I love African art, outsider art, artists like Meret Oppenheim, Henry Darger, Judy Scott, Miró, Nick Cave, Picasso, Alexander Calder, Isamu Noguchi, Llorens Artigas, Lucie Rie, Bonnie. But when I work, I don’t look for photos; I think if you look at something for too long, you get afraid and lose all your magic. I like to invent stuff and leave room for chance.
How do you explain your recurring themes? Paws on plates or handles everywhere.
When I started working on the potter’s wheel and trying to find my style, I would make cups all the time and put plenty of handles on them. Mine was an unconscious way of working, but putting on handles was like a mantra to me. Also, I made everything in pastel colours, which was unusual in the world of ceramics ten years ago.
Now I’m doing the handles thing again, but this time I’m putting them directly on mud blocks. I want to work with a more emphatic language.
Where will the expo be?
It will be at the Sala Amós Salvador in Logroño from 15th December to 12th February. It’s a collective expo with five other artists and is titled “Los días más hermosos” [“The Most Beautiful Days”].
Lusesita’s work could be seen at Art Élysées in Paris from 20th to 24th October, and as a permanent exhibition at Galeria Miquel Alzueta in Barcelona and Palau de Casavells in Girona.
You can find more info about her work at lusesitadelicatessen.blogspot.com.es