LEM is an art collective of-sorts that was formed at a Finland petrol station in 2008. En route to Helsinki, three art graduates, Saara Kaatra, Lotta Veromaa and Laura Itkonen decided to form the collective during a pit stop, with Animal Series the first fruit of their loins. Animal Series has been described as consisting of “sweet fairytale scenery and figures like the unicorns, pink rabbits and canary birds are in contrast with the macabre themes of blood, death and loneliness.” Indeed, there is a real macabre feeling running through the ceramics.
Using materials such as bowls and cups to stir animosity towards the perils of mass production, LEM have created a series of works that each tell their own – at times gruesome – stories. From a herd of rabbits rounding on the bloodied corpse of a frog, to another herd of bunnies all stuffed into a single bowl like animals awaiting death in scandalous conditions at a slaughterhouse, there isn’t anything necessarily “nice” about these works. But a quick check of the LEM websites suggests the Finnish collective are nothing if not playful. One assumes that “Animal Series” is a black satire, doused with irony and created as a vehicle for an attack on mass produced garbage.