Family stories, feelings, mistakes, and even funeral fairs are able to stimulate the artist's creative process. Here, Bibi shares how two of her art series developed from a very peculiar commission.
Matilde Bignotti: The series of the Cocoons and the Boats are linked to each other. Could you tell me more about what connects them?
BS: I was being invited for an exhibition at the funeral fair. They sold machines for digging graves, caskets, cloth. At the time, if you were cremated the ash had to be in one vessel as, in case the government would request to see the ashes, you could show them. Then, the rules softened, the ash could be spread. For example, you could put it in a ring, and make a diamond out of it, or put it into glass. At the fair, there was a stand that represented a Gallery, which asked to 10 different artists to create something to hold ash. The theme had to be the Egyptian death culture.
MB: That is a very interesting theme, for its rituals of purification and transition to the afterlife. What aspects of it have inspired the pieces?
BS: The Egyptians’ rituals of protection and mummification of the bodies inspired the cocoons. I see it as a symbolic space where what is vulnerable and valuable can be cherished, protected and secure. The threads embrace the piece and convey a sense of warmth and intimacy.
MB: Why is this cocoon not closed completely?
BS: It is not closed because there is still a contact with the person. The soul is protected, wrapped in threads, but the sarcophagus is open.- The Egyptian ceremony also inspired the boats. They are wrapped in silver thread and copper.
MB: Are the Boats also inspired by the Egyptian theme?
BS: Yes, I was fascinated by the idea of transition of the soul. The boat represents this journey, both from world to world and person to person. I imagine the family writing down a memory of the person who passed away in a piece of and place in the boat.