Teacup

Artist 1: Tania Oakshott
Artist 2: Christine Toh
Artist 3:Sabine Kussmaul

The humble cup of tea is an invitation to share, the beginning of understanding. The offering of a cup of tea is the essence of hospitality. I chose to crochet my teacup in white so the following artists had a ‘blank canvas’ to work with, to interpret what the cup of tea meant to them.

Christine decided to show the fragility and vulnerability of the rules of hospitality. Being hospitable and offering a cup of tea is a very positive attitude but it is only the first step in creating a dialogue and connecting with other people and other cultures. Creating deeper connections and a strong understanding is not as easy and simple and takes a lot of effort and commitment.
She built part of a wall made out of paper and mesh to block partially the access to the reassuring warmth of the cup, such reminding us about the people who are not offered a cup of tea like those hundreds of foreign nationals who are detained beyond the time of their sentence without any reasonable justification and are not entitled to have a normal life.

When Sabine took over from christine, the artwork already had a strong story attached to it. Hospitality was signified by the teacup, the surrounded wires and walls introduced the idea of imprisonment.  It felt right for Sabine to add to the space arrangement of wires and walls that Christine had created around the cup. In order to give this space an extra emphasis Sabine created a transparent cube made from fabric. She stitched the words “us”, “them” and “me” onto the cube’ s walls to fill “its space” with the notion of an individual’s struggle to interact with a new environment and be accepted.

This project has been very interesting to work on. To take another persons work and add to the piece can change directions and meanings and add new slants to meanings. It also takes a certain amount of courage to cut up another artists work! I have found it great to see what has been done to the piece I started as well.

Artist: Tania Oakshott

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