tea set

I received a miniaturised tea set as a gift when I was nine or ten. I took the time to reexamine the pieces, and re-explore the nostalgia to which they were tied. Where the materials – cheap ceramic, that makes a light ‘tinkling’ noise when used – warranted my gentle treatment and care as a child; as an adult, their mass-produced nature has become starkly apparent. Although through mass production they were rendered common, to my child self they were special; vessels for imagination and play.

  • tea set 1 of 4, pink & purple patterns
    tea set I

I set out to capture this by rendering in two ways; firstly as a graphite drawing, retaining their figurative nature but abandoning colour. As a result, I found the act of stripping away the colour also for me removed the sense of nostalgia; I interpreted this to mean that my nostalgic connection to the objects was tied to their colour. The second rendering stripped away all elements except colour and abstracted motifs. Through this process of extracting elements from the motifs imprinted and restructuring these as patterns; then layering them delicately together as pastel-toned screen prints, I was able to access both the essence of the objects and the nostalgia and memory to which in my mind they are inextricably tied.