The ‘Cutlery’ series consists of compositions of tableware made by the artist around 2008. In their shapes and materials these pieces carry stories where time, family and symbolic meanings come together. Here, Bibi talks about the memories and lines of thoughts that inspired these artworks.
Matilde Bignotti: In your gallery, I noticed these very unique sets of spoons and knifes. Could you tell me more about these series? I assume they are not mean to be used to set the table.
Bibi Smit: The Cutlery series is inspired by a real story. During the war, a family member had to flee his house. He took his silver cutlery set with him as payment. During his journey he would sell parts of the cutlery set to pay his way. To this day, a surviving relative is hunting small antique fairs to find back some knives and forks in order to complete the set. Individual parts can form a set. This story fascinates me, I imagine the knifes reunited after a long time, exchanging stories and experiences.
Are the glass knives maybe the lost property of the future?
Has time staggered?
MB: In their simplicity, these objects have seen so much history. Is it the same for the spoons?
BS: Quite the opposite. I continued the thought but in the opposite way. Some objects, like the knifes, are used and worn while other are beautifully untouched. As a set of spoons that a couple may receive as a gift for their wedding. Really nice, but too delicate to be ruined. So, these objects never lived, probably they were always kept in a drawer.
MB: The composition of the pieces, and the materials they are combined with, also differs. What are these choices suggesting?
BS: The knifes are entagled on the floor, I imagine them enjoying the reunion. Conversely, the spoons are lying in order on the tray, untouched. However, there are these other spoons that are lying in beeswax and one is kept in a felt pocket. These materials express a different type of intimacy: the glass is gently protected. Like a parent who is protecting her child, and nurturing her. The spoon is used to feed, to nurture, to nourish.
MB: I was not expecting these simple objects to hold such intriguing stories and symbolic meanings, thank you for sharing them!