Tuesday 21 October 2014

A Cup of Tea? . . .

In May this year I worked on a new series of prints, Storms in a Teacup, a metaphor for how friends come together over a cup of tea (or coffee) and ‘put the world to rights’ whether that means supporting each other through the trials and tribulations of life, or just for a good gossip!

This has developed into pushing some ideas around for a concertina book, in which I've decided to use having a cup of tea as my subject matter, employing it again as a metaphor for social relationships. Objects already invested with meaning used to symbolise friendship, memory, ritual, intimacy and shared identities, and with this I hoped to show the narratives of family and social relationships. 

But it's taken me most of the summer to decide on a text, in fact I wasn't really getting anywhere and had rather forgotten my original point (as the text in these images shows) and it had languished on a shelf in the studio for some weeks. 

However, a comment by a friend staying with us lodged in my brain, "a cup of tea?" and I found myself using it today when working on a poem for a new series of workshops at BlueGate Poets, starting this coming weekend with Carrie Etter

And I realised, this is kind of what I want for this project. A simple, pared down narrative.

A cup of tea?
A cup of tea would be nice.
The flicker of a smile
at the now familiar refrain.

Walking to the sink,
noticing golden autumn light
slanting through distant trees,
Filling the kettle
she patiently waits for it to boil.

or, perhaps . . .

Come in, sit down.
A cup of tea?
A cup of tea would be nice.

the heavy bag from her shoulder,
accepting a chair
she pauses,
as memories brew in the pot.

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