View :: This Little Teapot
April 19th 2011
Nick La Rosa
Tea-drinkers are generally considered a tranquil bunch, but Liam Gallagher has smashed many an expensive guitar in defiance of this stereotype. When the Oasis frontman does English Breakfast, he does it right. "When I make a cup of tea it's the best cup of tea ever," Gallagher once announced to journalists. I'm not game to challenge him on this sweeping claim; Gallagher's taste for a brew is only matched by his reputed taste for biff.
Rebecca Murphy is not taking tea so seriously. Her exhibition This Little Teapot is on now at the new Paper Plane Gallery in Rozelle, and there's not an agro British rocker in sight. Murphy asked an eclectic bunch of emerging and established artists to try their hand at teapot-prettification, and the results are sparkling around the new space right now. The participating artists work across the creative spectrum, from typographers and graphic designers to painters and print-makers. Each has delivered their own spin on the humble tea-pot, which shine with individual aesthetics.
Why teapots? "It's all about trying new things, having a bit of fun, and getting to know you," Murphy explains of the show. I dig the idea of artists going outside their comfort zone and pushing themselves in new directions. And I love art that isn't just for the art crowd, the kind that gets everyday people excited. I started hearing about these group shows that involved modifying things – vinyl toys, kokeshi dolls, etc – and was disappointed to find that they're few and far between in Australia. Well they say if you can't find a way, make a way, and so that's what I did!"
Murphy took the idea of object as art from the Dada and Pop movements, and her artists have transformed the everyday into the extraordinary. "There are some pretty famous examples, [like] Duchamp's urinal, Warhol's soup cans," she points out. The artists' potted interpretations are displayed along other samples of their work, so you can see how their style translates to the porcelain surface.
Go along and have a cuppa for us.
What: This Little Teapot
Where: Paper Plane Gallery, 727 Darling St, Rozelle
When: Until Sunday 1 May
How Much: Free