Wednesday, 8 August 2012

ARTea/ Backyard brew at OPEN YARDEN

The OPEN YARDEN event which took place on Saturday 4th August 2012 officially launched the Airspace Creative Urban Yarden. See the previous blog post for more about our intentions for the Yarden in the year ahead, and visit the Facebook group here

OPEN YARDEN, AirSpace Gallery

The event was a perfect opportunity to share my ARTea project which aims to promote the use of selected herbs to promote creativity and provide a creative experience. I am interested in the use of organic produce and linking notions of growing, creativity and well-being. Performance, art & life as holistic practice.  I am looking at the concepts of ‘Teaism’ (which represents do much of our art & life) that is rooted in ancient Zen/Taoist practices.
Pick your own herb Tea! ARTea installation, Kate Lynch 2012
Image: Adam Gruning

The backyard brew originated in my own Yarden, it is a blend of three herbs Lemon Balm, sage and mint (sometimes with added nettle). The herbs were growing together in a planter for some time before I discovered how well they tasted together.

Lemon Balm, Sage, & Mint growing together
The ARTea herb planters have been planted and nurtured in my own Yarden this year and it was a pleasure to have visitors picking from them and enjoying their tea making & tasting experience. A herb patch containing a variety of herbs to promote creativity will be introduced into the design for the Yarden taking place this autumn and winter.

“Thus the art of making tea and the art of painting are direct expressions of mindfulness & practice’’ kakuzo Okakura- The Book of Tea
The three planters were installed on the 'Larch Bench' which fittingly, had 3 seats and provided a hub of activity and a space for conversation and for sitting, making and tasting the teas. The bench had  been created by AirSpace Artist Andrew Branscombe for the 'Stocktake' Exhibition which happened earlier this year. I liked the re-purposing of the bench, a lot of this type of re-using and re-purposing activity happens within the gallery- we have many fittings and fixures that appear in different incarnations in exhibitions and projects. We are a resourceful bunch.

Kids and adults alike enjoyed the herbal teas. I intend to roll this idea out in the Yarden and beyond, growing designated herb patched containing selected herbs that are linked to creativity,  offering visitors the chance to pick their own in a performance based  experience and having an ARTea to accompany their art viewing at Gallery…

'' oasis in the dreary waste of existence, where weary travellers could meet and drink from the common spring of art appreciation'' - Okakura

The project also deals with issues of sustainability-especially in an artist lead space such as AirSpace, where funds are tight. We often serve tea and coffees to visitors here at AirSpace, and I would like to be able to offer visitors a fresh herbal tea which they can come and pick themselves. Growing herbs in the Yarden will save some cash, and perhaps generate a bit of income if we ask for donations for a fresh herbal cuppa. There is also potential to bag up dried herbs to sell or swap, or for individual use.

The copper plant labels were made using experimental print techniques. I will be making more of these labels to accompany the Yarden herbs.

I intend to create artists multiples in the form of a packaged tea experience. There are lots of projects in the pipeline with my ARTea ideas.

“The tea ceremony becomes Art. A ceremony performed not as symbol or allegory but as an ultimate expression of the here & now’ 

With thanks to Adam Gruning, Fiona Waddle & Ben Popple for providing some of the images featured.

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