Saturday, March 7, 2009

Joanne Kerr at A Cup of Tea Solves Everything

I nearly of the exhibits I like at the Cup of Tea show is funny little project by Joanne Kerr called TEA TALES, or Urban Wildlife: Tea Tales Picture Cards.

Joanne has printed up some little cards like the ones we used to get in packets of tea, plus a little booklet to stick them in. Rather than the pictures of birds and other animals that people used to collect (which had information about the species on the back), she has photographed the humble polystyrene cup in a variety of guises (decorated or with props) to resemble people in the urban environment. For instance, there are characters like The Therapist (the cup has two large handles attached which resemble huge ears), or The Builder (the cup is hodcarrying sugar lumps with a plastic spoon), The Gardener, The Hairdresser, and my favourite, The Gangster. The Gangster (gangsteramus) is black with a handle attached in the shape of knuckle dusters.

The Gardener (hortis planetarium) cup is decorated with a dark green pattern and its description reads: "a true native of England but it has been introduced into several other countries where, as it is a virile and adaptive species, it has thrived. It is regarded as a pest by the common slug for it is tenacious in its quest for food and does not take well to competition. It is most often seen in spring and summer. At first it stands erect but later droops."

Most of the work in the show is light hearted. I seem to be the only one weighed down by the history of tea.

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