Work by Lauren DelBrocco.
My art series “You Will Always Have a Place at My Table” is a collection of one-of-a-kind, sensory-provoking cooking and serving tools inspired by my childhood memories of family dinner time. I refer to the twelve metal-based, nontraditionally functional cooking and serving objects as Dining Table Engagers. The Dining Table Engagers, constructed primarily from mixed metal, cord, wood, and enamel, are displayed with a handwoven checkered table runner that rests on a six-foot handmade mahogany dinner table.
This body of work investigates American and European 18th and 19th-century upper class dining rituals and revolutions in food behaviors. With high respect for craftmanship, material integrality, and narrative art through object, my art identifies “place” for both person and object to be reunited again at the dining table as a method to preserve the identity of my family through object and place. A reminder of traditional and togetherness rooted within space and time spent at the dinner table.
Aristocratic dining camaraderie slowed down the eating process to build connections amongst the dinner companions. The meals were intended to be long lasting with apparition for the food and environment. The visual outcome of this body of work is a table landscape of cooking and dining tools that encourage visitors to gather around to bond to generate conversation, hopefully sparked by the familiar forms used in my art. Methods that will keep my audience entertained learned through my research of historical dining ware include unique physical interactions, surprising mechanics, and playful designs.
Like an event-filled dinner party from the past with consideration for etiquette and culture, a DelBrocco family dinner is filled with the sounds of vocal communication, the clattering of kitchen tools, and lively music in the background. Meanwhile, preparation is like a series of systematic gears operating in harmony as the meal unfolds. Like the many objects, we embed a perceived value to, my art objects, while on display, will absorb and collect the numerous fruitful memories spent at the table.
Welcome to my table.