Studio, Summer Assessment 2016

Artists Statement

Artists Statement

My final sculpture consists of three hanging tea cups presented with flowers in each one. Along side these I have presented images of the tea cups portrayed as life size sculptural gardens for the public to interact with. The gardens would be a place for the community to socialise and could be placed in different areas to enhance their aesthetics. This idea stemmed from creating drawings of an imaginary sculpture. I decided to collaborate with a peer as I noticed similarities in our initial design idea.I used a number of pre-made objects; tea cups, saucers, chains & wall brackets which I combined to create my sculpture. Deciding to use pre-made objects instead of hand crafted came from the outcomes during the development stages. It proved that trying to replicate tea cups from other materials, did not create a realistic or authentic appearance.

The making process involved re-assembling and adapting the tea cups for a different use. I attached the chains to the tea cups using hardware and hot glue. Drilling the brackets to the walls enabled the tea cups to hang from them – this needed testing to see how much weight the chains could take. The next process was to photograph the tea cups in a natural environment, against miniature model figures to show the size and scale the sculpture would be made in real life. The photographs needed enhancing on Photoshop to brighten the contrasts and exposure, removing the glare from the sun and adapting the colour schemes for a more interesting image.

Most of the development took place in the thought process, starting from the imaginary sculpture drawings, to ideas of tea cup park equipment and seating. Then finally after testing ways to adapt the tea cups, I decided with my peer to simplify the idea to hanging tea cup baskets, proposing life size interactive gardens. The idea behind the piece is to present 3 different small scale sculptures which represent life size gardens for the public to be able to interact with, as a place to relax. The concept of the tea cup gardens is to enhance areas of the community which needed more attention. The sculptures would also attract more people into the area, becoming a tourist landmark. There is a connection between the material used and the main idea which shows an everyday item re-made on a huge scale, placed in an unexpected environment. This was chosen in order to excite the public of all ages.I am interested in public art work of this type to explore how art can bring together a community and be enjoyed by the public. Although the tea cups represent the large scale sculptures, they also work separately as small aesthetically pleasing decorations which can hang in trees or other areas around a garden.

 I have looked at a range or artists, such as Claus Oldenburg, Hans Hendrick Ohlers, Andy Goldsworthy, Eros Alfred Gilbert, Linda Lighton and Meret Oppenheim. The most relevant of them being Hans Hendrick Ohlers’ piece ‘playscapes’ –a playable sculpture. A quote reviewing the piece commented on how it has enhanced the playground, ‘After generations of neglect, the public playground is suddenly in the midst of a renascence as designers, sculptors, painters and architects strive to create a new world of color, texture and form.’[1] Claus Oldenburg’s oversized sculptures of everyday objects, specifically ‘Spoonbridge and Cherry’ sculpture which also acts as water fountain, influenced my work greatly. It was described as, ‘A toweringly silly piece of modern art has been delighting locals since the 1980’s.’[2] I intended my sculpture to have a similar effect on the environment it is situated.

Another influence came from sculptures and carved benches based on local Oxford author C.S.Lewis, found in Bury Knowle Park, which greatly adds to the open space. My visit to ‘Alice’s late night Adventures Underground’ based on the book and film ‘Alice in Wonderland, is an interactive walk through maze, in the vaults of London; which initiated my interest in magical life-like creations and fairy tale themes.

I am happy with the authentic look the 3 tea cups portray along side the imagery to show the proposal of life-size sculptural gardens, edited to engage the audience with exciting colours and contrasts. Working collaboratively allowed the costs of the pre-made items to be shared and more research ideas and curating to be developed, in the limited time we had. The minor problems faced during the project were overcame through simplifying the ideas to a more realistic approach. In order to have the sculpture ready for the exhibition, I had to use my time carefully. Planting the flowers twice ensured we could create the photographs in time and also have the flowers fresh and alive for the exhibition day.

If I was to develop the sculpture forward I would explore ways to create large scale tea cups that kept a realistic form. Or I would create many more hanging tea cups featuring different ways of holding planted flowers.


[1] ‘Quotes Page – Playscapes’, 2016, accessed April 18, 2016, http://www.play-scapes.com/quotes/.

[2] ‘Spoonbridge and Cherry’, 2016, accessed April 18, 2016, http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/spoonbridge-and-cherry.