BibiMichèle

The artists, (mother) Michèle Deiters and (daughter) Bibi van der Velden, first began collaborating at the bequest of a friend and contemporary art collector for his sculpture garden in France, and it was a near-immediate revelation for both their artistic practices. 

 

Michèle Dieters was schooled in Switzerland and spent a year in Rome studying Art History. She then traveled to a kibbutz in Israel, her stay cut short by the Yom Kippur War, where she was trapped in a bomb shelter for several weeks. Fascinated from an early age by stonework, Michèle’s youthful dreams were answered when she was awarded a two-year apprenticeship with acclaimed sculptor, Nico Onkenhout. Thereafter she studied sculpture at the London Art Schools City and Guilds and welding with the London Polytechnic, followed by two years with the New York National Academy and another two immersed in the stone quarries of Italy. Returning to the Netherlands with her growing family, Michèle established her studios in Utrecht and le Chambon, in France. Commissions began flowing in for companies and collectors, but it would be years before she would fulfill the continuation of the artistic persona who is BibiMichèle.

 

From a young age, Bibi van der Velden worked in her mother Michèle’s sculpture studio. Born in New York and raised in England and the Netherlands, Bibi studied fine arts in Florence, Italy, before honing her eye at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. Bibi now creates jewelry and sculpture from her studios in Amsterdam and Portugal.

 

According to Simon Levie, former director of the Rijksmuseum, "Bibi and Michèle complete one another, automatically complementing and fusing their energies. Just as naturally they see into each other's brains while working and don't shy away from building on each other's thoughts. They work and create together in a way that gives new meaning to the words ‘working together’. What Michèle and Bibi do strikes me as completely unique."