• Chantel Matthews

Morning pages

Updated: Feb 4

Light Bulb "help yourself to a cup of tea" sigh


OMG Mon, Light bulb moments… “Help yourself to a cup of tea” station!!!!! Laughing on the inside, I remember saying to you like a few months ago, I am done with the tea station!!!!!!!


As I break down my list… in my blog Carl Mika explains "Things that are revealed are only disclosed because of Being's withdrawal. To that extent, more important than man's present state of visibility is how man's being is highlighted by what is absent. It is the absence that highlights for an entity its present being''.


Suddenly, I think, I was so fixed on what was present and visible, ie the tea station simply serving tea, the reciprocal act, manaaki than not being seen as I sit in the back making vessels then it becoming a chore, burden as it became a place to ‘take’ the work was showing what was also absent, this turning in on itself to highlight it’s own entity through it just being which then highlighted the being of others. The cups glazed with my awa is me being present in the work but absent at the same time as I have to constantly return home to be present so this churning over of cups is a way of keeping my awa present and moving while also highlighting my absence from my whenua. Wāhine is the representation of the woman, mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister that provide such spaces, that are perhaps invisible to their whanau due to leaving their whenua, invisible to society, invisible in the art world.

Kapu,ika mata caught in Te Tai Tokerau, kapu made with

Te wai o Rangaunu moana, Toni Cook, 2021



take take, Vintage tea trolley, crown Lynn tea set, cost $125, 2021


Inspired by my mum working at crown Lynn before my time, I had never seen her work before. it sounded like a happy time in her life, a time I never saw. When I think of this installation I think about this idea of serving others, the tea trolley, the crown Lynn factory. These two items that are English, I consider the colonial aspect. My mum working in her teens, her ripped of her teens/dreams due to circumstances beyond her control. Then the manaaki aspect. This want to nourish and nurture others which if not reciprocated becomes just a take take scenario. Not a give and take. With the absence of tea condiments, it becomes useless in its function instead an object for observation or aesthetic purposes. not contributing in any way but highlighting issues of the social. issues of families that may go without, issues of women in the home unseen, issues of women artists compared to male artists in galleries or perhaps paid as well as male counterparts. If looking at what is happening in the art world with Auckland Art Gallery I think about how we have internationals telling our stories, why local talent is not good enough to fufill such leadership roles within the art world.


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an idea is perhaps to set up the installation take take on one side of the room then on the other have a fully set up tea station on the other. called give give. Giving the audience an option to either view one or use one. both present and highlighting what is absent. manaaki on one side, take take on the other. In each others presence what might happen? will people notice, consider taking from the give give, does it matter, not really as the work exists on its own regardless of interaction or not. one will still be give give and one take take regardless of participation.