MICHÈLE ON BIBI
From the age of eight, Bibi was with me while I was working. Our collaboration was raw and instinctive. Bibi’s enthusiasm fuelled me. Her interest prompted her to join me on visits to the bronze foundry.
Bibi started experimenting with materialising ideas at the age of 12. I began to introduce her to tools, techniques and materials. Her fresh, unconventional eye delighted and fascinated me.
Our partnership today was already developing organically.
Bibi took a gap year in Florence. She went to learn Italian and study art. Her creative coming of age was evident, as her confidence in her capabilities grew and she learned to translate ideas into tangible forms.
Bibi has always been wary of making the wrong decisions; the idea that choosing would exclude other possibilities, leading to regret. This was manifest when she decided to pursue her love of art at the Gerrit Rietveldt Academy while at the same time to read law at the University of Amsterdam.
After her foundation year at the Rietveldt Academy she switched to the more relevant Royal Academy of Art in the Hague. Law studies made way to focus on art.
By night Bibi also studied to be a goldsmith and started turning antique objects into jewellery. It was a way to express herself with her familiar “precious personal objects” ardently collected over the years. This became a powerful medium for her creative energy.
She began to receive significant commissions, prompting her to design jewellery professionally.
Her boundless energy enabled her to complete the Art Academy while developing an increasingly acclaimed career as a jewellery designer.
Her infectious drive and astonished and energy have always inspired me.
BIBI ON MICHÈLE
My earliest memories were of watching my mother work. They include the sound of the chisel chipping. The scratching of charcoal and the heat of the foundry. There wasn’t an idea or project that she didn’t involve me in.
When I could walk I would fetch a hammer, later I would help polish marble or wash the alabaster forms that she was creating.
When I was 8, I wrote in my school note book that I wanted to become an artist one day.
I was brought up by Michele with the trust and belief that anything is possible.
Starting with clay then soft stone I began to explore shapes for myself.
My involvement in the studio evolved as I did.
When I began at the Art Academy I was in full-flow with my own ideas and also enjoyed experimenting in non 3 dimensional media. In the evenings I developed my craft knowledge to facilitate my love for Jewellery design.
My mother and I founded Studio White Space and worked there together apart. Each busy building her own body of work.
A sounding-board starts as a confirmation of ones thoughts and getting back a little kick to continue — that is how my working relationship with Michèle began.
My role graduated from sounding board into that of “second opinion” and now, proudly, it is an equal partnership based on unconditional trust and mutual respect.
We challenge each other in a way that we are able to extend our boundaries in a creative and conceptual way.
The time we spent together creating “Confronting Time” became a platform where any of the distractions that come with the “mother daughter” relationship just flood away to create a level playing field for our work.