Place refers to one’s identity and place in the world, but also to the literal meaning of one’s place at the dinner table. This piece investigates the way in which our identity is formed and influenced by our family of origin. It’s about the rules, standards, edicts and axioms we learn as children, often around the dinner table, which we carry throughout our lives – for better or worse.

The use of EPNS cutlery enshrines many meanings. On the surface, fine cutlery is a symbol for good manners, deportment and etiquette. It also references the repetition of daily life where attitudes and ideas are solidified, bit by bit, day by day.

The cutlery is also a direct reference to my mother who was an antique dealer and spent many long hours polishing silverware. We shared long discussions over the distinct odour of Silvo and the cutlery used here is from her stash which still seems endless even 15 years after her death.

Ranging from well polished, to tarnished and deteriorated, the patina of the individual pieces of silverware mimics the way we continually revisits and reassess some lessons from our childhoods and let others fade away.

The layers of concrete and cutlery allude to geological rock layers, showing how our influences become embedded early in life and an entrenched part of our identity.


Place was part of the Your Place exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery in March 2021. 

'Stunning. So many conceptual layers packed into an uncomplicated form.' - Wijze Meisjes

Concrete and cutlery sculpture by Ingrid K Brooker

'This has so many layers of interpretation. Cutlery alone is so symbolic of home, kitchens, mother's, grandmother's, family gatherings, meals, food, love, warmth, security, safety. Of conversations, of hard times, of sad times, of uncomfortableness at home and/or at others. Memories. Future desires. Kind of represents the centre of home, the deep inside, private, behind closed doors. Love. Nurturing. Loneliness too. Isolation in these times. And sandwich them in concrete and again home, but also pressure, conformity, behavior, expectations and family rules.' - Zoe Hirson

Concrete and cutlery sculpture by Ingrid K Brooker