L’ile de volupté
Size: 34 x 50 cm
Material: porcelain from Limoges
“Breakfast in bed … ..crumbs in the bed, spilling your drink, moving around in that bed, where do you put everything? ”
A remark like this is for me a clue and challenge at the same time: I tried to show someone that a breakfast in bed is a delight for all the senses without things shifting or falling off.
The still lifes of Dick Ket are a pleasure for me to look at, and they inspired me to make this. In 1932 he wrote this in a letter to his fiancée Nel Schilt:
“… That there is more between heaven and earth, I often think of this when I’m painting a still-life. Especially in these dead things, I feel the attendance of the omnipresent and I find myself loving these dead objects and treating them as such”
A dinner-tray with breakfast resembles the title of Dick Kets favorite novel (“Lile the volupté” Miriam Harry) a voluptuous island to enjoy, with all your senses.
The tray, executed in porcelain, is a blue and white checkered tea towel. These checkered cloths were often used by Dick Ket in his still lifes. I chose blue, a reference to the Dutch Delft Blue ceramics. Board, dishes, and egg shell are integrated. Together with the “canvas” they form a whole, and everything remains in place. The cutlery lays in the natural folds of the fabric and cannot move.
I am from a large family and egg cups were a luxury we did not know about. A boiled egg at breakfast was put on your slice of bread… which served then as an egg cup! This idea I have incorporated into the fabric … the egg cup is actually just a hole in the canvas here. However it does have something that preserves the warmth and the top of it accommodates a saltshaker, which can be filled through a small incorporated funnel.
The milk jug also serves as a lid on the sugar bowl. The tray is suitable for both left- and right handed people. On one of the plates a piece of fruit will fit perfectly, preferably a pear to remain in the realm of Dick Ket.
Dick Ket used a lot of symbolism in his still lifes. Because of his illness he was not able to go outdoors a lot. Therefore, he used the forms that were available in the house within his compositions. For the implementation of my personal still life: the “breakfast-in-bed tray”, I used his language, not only for the plates but also in the loose parts such as the cup, teapot, and pharmacists bottle that can be used as water or juice jug or optionally also as vase for a red geranium (the flower of God’s grace). According to Dick Ket, a geranium served as the cure for melancholy in the Middle Ages, isn’t’ that a nice start for a breakfast?