SELECTED EXHIBITION | TEAWARES
WORK SELECTED | HIGH TEA ON LUNAR LANDING
JamFactory Gallery One
Adelaide, South Australia
In western culture tea exists as a right of passage and a ritual that constructs boundaries between seemingly irreconcilable opposites. The rituals of tea divide child from adult, civilised from uncivilised, public time from private time, tradition from progress. Tea itself is imbued with a civilising or redemptive power over hostile of environments and unruly impulses.
The juxtaposition of opposites that exist in the work I have produced questions these received divisions in an attempt to open up new stories and possibilities for tea. The three-tier cake stand is an object that is firmly rooted in the Victorian era as a part of the quintessentially English tradition of afternoon tea. Served with silverware and fine bone china, afternoon tea reinforced the divisions of high and low where fine craftsmanship was contrast against the crude processes of 19th century industrial production. This work has been produced with industrial processes of computer drafting, laser cutting and powder coating and employs contemporary decorative iconography to highlight the separation from its Victorian origins.
The proposition of celebrating a lunar landing with a cup of tea is no more absurd than marking your arrival on the moon with a hit of golf, as did Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard in 1971. It's just less practical. High Tea on Lunar Landing is an image that encapsulates a larger binary, one that exists at the edge of any frontier between the intimate and the immense.