Designs for the 2015 Tetley's Collection2015
For the 2015 Tetley's Collection commission I have taken as my starting point photographs from the Tetley's archive. I was interested in images of people working, at all levels of production, both men and women. Many of the images I selected were used as promotional material and some of the scenarios look a bit set-up, however I was attracted to a feeling of sincerity in the images. These were the real people who worked for a large company, each with a set role in a distinct department. From the people at the top planning and managing to those sticking labels on bottles – everyone had a job to do. I was completely charmed by this vision of a lost world of labour and production and am aware that I have been seduced by these nostalgic images.
With each picture I have intervened or interfered with the narrative being played out on the page. I wanted to draw attention to the activities of the people in the photos, highlight their work, subvert their intention and create new relationships between the elements in the photos. In some, the gesture of the protagonist expands out into the wider environment, and sometimes it blends in with the existing composition. There are some where the personality of the worker is obliterated altogether, where I am interested only in their gesture or the shape they've made on the page. Some fall completely into fantasy – a realm we have all inhabited at one time or other while we are supposed to be at work.