Tutorial with Annie Turner
A tutorial with Annie Turner was very helpful. I was trying to be more specific about the cultural research and knowledge I had. She asked me of a significant objects that I posses in relation to tea that I brought with me from Russia. We discussed the soviet faceted glass I cast in the beginning of the course. It was the one object I brought.
We talked of how it was significant but yet everyone had it. It is important but not treasured at the same time. How ordinary it was and how it could serve as a blank canvas to get across a message. Why something unimportant and throwaway becomes important at once? We briefly touched on Russian politics and how it affects my live and mind. We talked about the revolutionary ceramics from the beginning of the 20th century Russia and how it was used as a tool of propaganda.
image from here
Annie suggested that I should look at Russian culture but from the side of political issues that worry me so much. She asked me: “What will happen if you had to make a cup for someone else? What kind of cup will you make for mister Putin?” I realised that there is a real potential to explore my ceramic work from this perspective, the potential of the tea cup and saucer to become a vehicle to investigate social and political commentary. People like politicians I feel strongly about events and tragedies that happened during my life.
We talked about a possibility that I could create a family of tea cups and saucers which explore the essence of someone I know well. Again, this springs out of the idea of a personal cup, personal choice by one of a particular cup, personal story of one. This approach and the one above links my two previous themes which were a personal cup, or ‘a favourite cup’, and a ‘social tea’, or story, theme.
We also discussed the relationship between the cup and a saucer. A cup which needs the saucer to support it? Or, maybe, one dominates the other? Or, perhaps, the two elements need each other to work? Can this be used as a visual language, as a part of the concept?
by Marianne Van Oij