The consequences of climate change and the prescient effects it causes to food production is of worldwide concern. What We Know Now seeks to convey how produce such as fruit will be affected. Many farming areas are experiencing the effects of rising temperatures; fruits are drying out and spoiling before ripening. Other areas are being inundated by flooding events or rising sea levels, damaging the crops and exposing them to fungal diseases. It is predicted that if the average temperature increase is not limited to 2 degrees our food security could be under threat. The usual colours and taste of fruit may then only resign in our memory.

‘What We Know Now’ is a chapter heading (used with permission) from the novel Things We Didn’t See Coming by author Steven Amsterdam.

Lene will donate $10 from the sale of each work to

Lene Kuhl Jakobsen, What We Know Now, 2019, stoneware and porcelain clay. Image courtesy the maker

Lene Kuhl Jakobsen is an award-winning Melbourne-based ceramicist. Having grown up in Denmark, Jakobsen studied ceramics at an Art and Craft School, followed by work at a production pottery in Copenhagen. After spending a year in Norway at a ceramics studio, Jakobsen moved to Melbourne where she now has a home studio with an electric kiln. Jakobsen makes a wide range of functional works as well as sculptural exhibition pieces. She has exhibited widely in both solo and group exhibitions locally and internationally.


MEET THE MAKER | We spoke to Lene Kuhl Jakobsen to find out more about her exhibition and her practice.

Tell us more about yourself and how you began your career in ceramics?

I grew up in Denmark and at high School I really liked the weekly art lesson taught by a local artist whose wife was a ceramist. My German teacher was also a great influence as he introduced us to various artists and art films. These influences prompted me to apply for a 4 year course in ceramics at an Art and Crafts School after high school. From day one I loved all the subjects of drawing, wheel throwing, glaze chemistry, the history of clay and much more...

Before coming to Australia in 1985 I worked at studios in Copenhagen and in Northern Norway gaining further valuable experiences.

Your exhibition considers climate change and the impact on our food supplies – can you talk more about the development of this concept?

I have an ongoing concern about the environment and how we humans need to understand that we are all connected and interdependent on nature....especially in regard to the issue of  climate change affecting food security. For a few years now, I have subscription to a weekly seasonal box of fruit that I receive directly from a community supported agriculture co-op (CSA share). In my neighbourhood, I also take part in planting and learning from monthly speakers on various subjects. Some time ago I made some white porcelain fruit shapes which sat on a shelf in the studio and after a while I got the idea of depicting climate damaged fruit. Creating the various shapes I realised that I already had the many glazes which could show these effects. I mainly make functional ceramic pieces but have previously created exhibition works concerning  the issues of  bush fire and glacier melt.

The title of your exhibition, What We Know Now, is taken from a chapter heading within Steven Amsterdam’s book Things We Didn’t See Coming. Can you tell us why we all must read this book?

The book Things we Didn’t See Coming from 2009 is set in a 30 year period from 2000 in a world dealing with severe climate events. The book is important as it inspires us to think differently about our world today. ‘SweetWater’ is a book by Norweigian writer Knut Faldbakken on a similar theme which made a strong impression on me when studying in the 1970. Sometimes sadly it seems not much has changed and the fight to address the big issues of pollution and use of natural resource still remains.