I felt sad this afternoon as I started to break down my most recent exhibit, which was called "Would you like a cup of tea?" and "Would you like another cup of tea?" I wasn't expecting to be asked to keep the show up a second week, hence the second name. The "living room" installation created such a powerful spell over me, as the artist, that it almost felt like I was moving away from a home I created. In a sense I did create a home, complete with fuzzy slippers, plants, snacks and both old and new friends and rituals. A little community had formed in the space and though it might sound a little absurd, it was said to say good bye to it.
My favorite thing I heard during the two weeks I maintained a space for tea and conversation was, "I wish we had something like this on campus all the time." Of course this made me feel great--my art was enjoyed to the point that participants (mostly students, staff and faculty of SJSU) expressed a desire to engage in a space like this one a daily basis. But it makes me wonder about what is lacking at SJSU that would illicit such a strong response.
I am still gathering my thoughts on the work, what was successful and what wasn't, but what I would like to share today are some data I collected, as well as some really great images taken by Rick English. (Thank you Rick!!)
A list of what was consumed and used and created over the past two weeks.
- Over 100 cups of tea (half Earl Grey, half chamomile or peppermint)
- Four dark chocolate bars
- Two milk chocolate bars
- One bag of Werthers Originals
- One container of tropical trail mix
- 1/4 of a box of cookies made by someone's grandma
- Two Turkish coffee sessions
- Over 15 fortunes read in coffee grounds
- Eight days of washing teacups by hand
- 1/4 package of graham crackers
- One package of rice crackers