Over a cup of tea outside the Tate Modern, members of the public discussed their answers to the question ‘what does feminism mean to you today?’ Visitors were invited to record their thoughts on blank rosettes, each one a political statement in it’s own right. In the evening the rosettes were presented in the corridor by the East Room creating an archive of contemporary opinion.
Wearing a rosette is recognised as a symbol of political opinion and belonging to a set of shared beliefs. In Tea for Thought the rosette was used as a tool for encouraging personal thoughts, ideas, questions and experiences… and instead of belonging to the badge wearer became part of a collective. A whole was made from lots of individual opinions.
By opening the debate up and bringing it back to its feminist roots through sharing individual experiences within an open forum, Tea For Thought echoes Suzanne Lacy’s notion that “connection, community, and kinship are feminist words”.
This project is informed by 1970s-style consciousness raising sessions and by the work of two British artists who worked collaboratively in the 1980s, namely Shirley Cameron and Evelyn Silver. Their fondness for tea sharing and their commitment to participatory public performances have inspired the piece.
Filmed by Richard Canham & Francesca Ungaro, Edited by Oriana Fox