What happens when you combine the imaginative world of Finnish folklore with the idea of the apocalypse and the themes of William Golding’s seminal novel “Lord of the Flies”? If you’re a highly imaginative artist and radically innovative ceramist like Kim Simonsson then the answer is “Moss People”, an eerie troupe of moss-green, life-size children whose deceptively innocent demeanour belies upon closer observation a disconcerting sensibility. Crafted in glazed stoneware using a combination of handiwork and industrial fabrication in his studio in Fiskars Village, Finland, Simonsson’s sculptural series stands out both for their formidable verisimilitude and meta-narrative symbolism.
Conceived as the protagonists of a post-apocalyptic world where nature has taken over, Moss People have been making a splash in our own world lately with two solo gallery shows and three major installations this year alone. Early this year, they appeared as giants in a monumental public installation in Lille in the context "UTOPIA", the 6th edition of the French triennial arts and culture fair lille3000; in the late summer, over two dozen Moss Children decamped to Lyon for the 16th Lyon Biennale, which runs until the end of December; and finally, last week they took centre stage at Jason Jacques Gallery’s booth at Design Miami 2022. Ensconced in a large-scale, two-storey installation, courtesy of innovative scaffolding manufacturer Urban Umbrella, the gallery’s presentation brought together recent work with a never-before-seen Moss Giant allowing visitors to step inside Simonsson’s beguiling universe.