Lena Peters is a ceramicist whose works play with folkloric narratives. Her interest in folklore, mythology, history and nature results in work that dances between the real and the unreal, creating illustrative objects which work to embody her storytelling.
Peters graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design with a BA Hons in Ceramic Design in 2017. Her work has been exhibited at the Lethaby Gallery, London, the British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent, and the Pangolin Gallery, London. Peters’s works were first exhibited at David Gill Gallery in November 2017 as part of ‘Vases and Vessels’ Curated by Gianluca Longo. Joining David Gill Gallery, Peters presented her first solo exhibition at David Gill Gallery in 2018 entitled ‘Saints and Spirits’.
Her 2017 project ‘Secrets of the Hidden North’ imagines the results of an archeological dig in the Northumberland National Park, just above Hadrian’s Wall. The ceramics from this project are enveloped in this narrative. They are unique in terms of style, motif and decoration, but have clear Roman influences in some of the stories as well as in the form and design, whilst being simultaneously stylistically different enough for it to be obvious they were made by a different people. The objects in the images seem to be related to pagan rituals and worships, with an emphasis on nature and animals. Specifically, each image portrays the same woman in a variety of animal guises.
Writing of the imagined history behind this body of work, Peters observes:
“Historians posit the theory that these objects were made by a group of combined Romans and Celtic Britons who chose to live outside of the conflict, living hidden just above the Roman territories until the fighting forced them to abandon their settlement. In this exhibition, we see their gods, their myths and their history for the first time.”
In ‘Saints and Spirits’ (2018, David Gill Gallery), Peters offered an unexpected menagerie of shrine statues, evoking folk beliefs and household worship from across the world. Ranging across continents and combining pagan and primitive beliefs with Christian iconography, the figures are part of a cadre of non-canonical Saints, conjured from the stories and animal symbolism of various peoples.