Photo: Tea in Manchester and Kent, North West


Artist, Lecturer / academic, Art therapist

Tea (Peter Hatton, Val Murray and Lynn Pilling) is a collaborative, critical, spatial practice which aims to make visible the intriguing and dynamic complexity of interactions between the built environment and people's activities over time.

Our creative engagement with places uses installation, performance, video and publication to construct new narratives and reflections; a subtle form of Public Art. For example, Boat Trip: Nothing But Flowers explored the evolving margins of the Manchester Ship Canal through on the ground activities and encounters, video, fiction and documentary to construct narratives of various locations along the banks presented through live boat trips and a publication. In Fabrika the changing use and value of industrial spaces in St Petersburg and Manchester were presented through a composite video journey. Spinning A Yarn for The Whitworth took a performative look at buildings associated with the cotton industry in Manchester.

Tea is interested in exploring areas of overlap with other professionals working in the built environment for example a Cultural Geographer to construct a reflection on Oswestry and a residency involving experts and local people as part of the regeneration programme of Widnes Waterfront. 

Tea has worked as a collaborative team since 1987 (including Jon Biddulph until 2004). We all have sculptural backgrounds. We are interested in space and how it is perceived and used. Our very first collaborative project (Homeworks) was an artist initiated six-week residency in a semi derelict house in Manchester exploring its layered histories and uses. The work has expanded from sited sculptural installations to encompass performance, sound, video and publications. Sites of projects have ranged from a house through to a park, a street, a building, a town and a region.

We initiate projects and also work in response to invitations from people who are interested in our mode of engagement with places. Commissioners include Tate Liverpool, The Lowry, The Whitworth, The South Bank Centre and London International Festival of Theatre.

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Location Manchester and Kent, North West
Activities Practice-based research, Residencies, Built environment, Participatory projects, Public art
Artforms / type of project Book Works, Film & Video, Installation, Intervention, Public Art
Tags built environment, public, intervention, action research, place, regeneration, installation, collaboration, site-specific, temporary

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