“The Garden Tea Party” is a series of works that grew over time – quite literally. The works focus on the fragile beauty of nature and growth over time, combining the two fragile forms of fine china and delicate foliage. The teacups and teapots are seen displaced and neglected in the wilderness, completely overgrown and entwined in foliage.
[Above: ‘Tea for Two’ – Third Edition to the series]
[‘Green Tea’ – Forth Edition to the series]
[‘Overgrown Teapot’ – Second Edition to the series]
[‘Tea Time’ – First Edition to the series]
It all started with the first edition to the series”Tea Time” At the time my vintage teacup collection was growing, finding the most intricate pieces of Victorian fine china. I was drawn to floral patterns and combining this with living flora.
“The camellia tea plant grows from the teacup and forms a seed of new life.”
I initially manipulated the structure of the teacups – starting with the delicate handles transforming from object to growth. The teacups and teapots are depicted with cracks and chips revealing there weathered and worn state, highlighting their vulnerability of the abandoned fine china against natural elements.
The foliage is seen adapting to its surroundings with growths breaking out from the constraints of the structural form – surviving and overtaking the unfamiliar objects.
Alice in Wonderland is an all time favourite story of mine and one I hold close to my heart. It reminds me of childhood, adventures and the powerful tool of imagination and that of my own. I wanted to capture the magical world of wonderland – a world full of clocks, teacups, giant mushrooms and peculiar creatures.
Being very influenced by the Disney films and their version of the novels – I wanted to create my own take on it. Conveying Alice a little older and more estranged to the common world. Her hair appearing a little untamed in a messy braid and big pink bow, though still in proper dress for the tea party. She sits upon a giant mushroom with a dazed expression as she balances a teacup on her head, a teapot in one hand and key in the other. Not at all concerned by her surroundings as her curious animal friends lurk behind her, for the white rabbit will show her the way.
“Everything is out of the ordinary and nothing appears as it should”
[‘Alice’ – Finalised piece. Graphite and coloured pencil]
‘Birds and The Seams’ explores the delicate nature of flora and fauna adapting to its surroundings and its dominance over time. Dainty insects and woodland creatures are depicted in a world of displaced antiques that are completely overgrown and entwined in foliage. As time passes, the dominance of the foliage grows and accumulates the abandoned antique objects, creating a completely new environment for nature to thrive on.
The concept was derived from previous explorations of overgrown foliage accumulating antique objects seen in ‘The Garden Tea Party’ series. The concept explores the barriers between nature and a manufactured world. Addressing themes of displacement and neglect that question realities and values.
The architectural form of the human body is suggested in a stiff, dismantled structure that has been damaged and worn over time. The fragile form of the mannequin is tested against the growths of foliage, suggesting the constant struggle of nature against man kinds impact. The vegetation has adapted to its surroundings to survive, creating new life and moving towards a new world of ethereal wilderness and beauty.
The piece was inspired by current environmental issues and the human footprint on our surroundings.