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 makes visible and reconfigures the intriguing and dynamic complexity of the interweaving of the built environment and people's lives, past, present and future.

What Tea Does. Our creative engagement with places uses action research, collaboration, installation, performance, video and publication to construct new narratives and reflections; a subtle, alternative form of Public Art which challenges preconceptions. For example, Boat Trip: Nothing But Flowers explored the evolving margins of the Manchester Ship Canal by means of on the ground activities and encounters, video, fiction and documentary in order to construct narratives of various locations along the banks which were presented through live public 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.

Collaboration. Tea is interested in exploring areas of overlap with other professionals working in the built environment for example we have worked with Social Scientists to explore living and working on Sheppey, with a Cultural Geographer to construct a reflection on Oswestry and a residency involving experts and with local people as part of the regeneration programme of Widnes Waterfront. 

Background. 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 offices, factories, a park, a street, a building, a town and a region.

Projects and Commissions. 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 Bluecaot, 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 public, intervention, place, regeneration, installation, collaboration, temporary, site responsive, urban, interaction

News & Events

  • Atmospheres Conference, Manchester

    Tea has been invited to show the two Place Processing videos at the Atmospheres Conference organised by the Morgan Centre of Research into Everyday Lives.

  • 'Leaving' shown in 51zero festival touring to France.

    Tea's video Leaving about the closure of Manchester's 'Toast Rack' has been shown in 51zero/festival and tours to Lens in France.


    Refreshed Tea website available to view including latest projects

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