1960 · Netherlands
Toying with complex dualities like hate in love, death in life, and innocence in guilt Carolein Smit’s mythical sculptures are equally humorous and disturbing. Working off of classic mythology and biblical themes, her immensely detailed ceramic sculptures shimmer and shine with the sheen of heavy glazing. She utilises elements such as skulls, skeletons, and bones to explore the dilemmas of conflicting messages like the pain that exists in love. She does not sketch or draft her work before creating the final products, and thus, she believes that the creation of the piece itself is an adventure. Her love for historic cabinets of curiosity (or Wunderkammers) feeds her inspiration as a representation of the intersection between art, science, and mysticism that echoes in her sculptures.
Born 1960 in Amersfoort, The Netherlands, she specialised in Graphics and Lithography at St. Joost’s Academie of Fine Arts from 1979-1984. She also attended ‘s-Hertogenbosch’s European Ceramics Working Centre in 1996. She now lives and works in Belgium.
Smit has had the pleasure of global recognition and has held solo shows in renowned museums such as the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Museum Kermion, Frechen; Drents Museum, Assen; and Grassi Museum, Leipzig. She was the recipient of three scholarships from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Design, and Architecture in Amsterdam and was honourably mentioned for the Prix de Rome. Her work has been the subject of several documentaries.