• Chantel Matthews

Morning Pages

Updated: Nov 16

Exploring the potential of making a bench seat and incorporating the cups used from the cuppa tea station, we decided to do a few tests of surfaces that potentially would be un-sittable using leftover ceramics from the lab.

The first test slab was to expose the the ceramic shards, the sharpness etc. This did not work out as planned.

The second slab was made with a 3 degree angle and aesthetically is more in line with what I am looking for.

The next iteration would be trialling the bench top using a mix clay, concrete, sand and sea water, once the slab is set, we would sit in a tray of salt water to see if and how long the slab disintegrates.

Conceptually looking at ideas of Tapu, ie the association with Kai and sitting, the seat being

potentially un-sittable considering objects that hold space but the space is not available, give and take, not being able to sit down, overworked, labour, taken advantage off. How the domestic object dissolves over time. Domestic objects being tapu, sacred and can the object hold others mauri, wairua. The seat as a vessel that holds without physically engagement?

what does it mean to incorporate a ritual like a cup of tea and turn it into an object that dismantles such rituals? No longer a ritual but an object in waiting.


bench at the front of the meeting house, front row of seats


1. (loan) (noun) chair, stool, seat, bench, pew.

1. (verb) (-ria) to stand, take place, set in place, establish, hold, convene.

1. (verb) (-tia) to fight, engage, oppose.

1. (verb) to be hit, wounded.


The bench seat is another domestic object that holds space. it holds, it carries, it lightens, lifts, lowers the body. The mixing of kai is to think about well-being that is conflicted. Perhaps by ideas of tapu and noa. What is it to not have the tiki? the knowledge? Could it be a message from my tupuna highlighting the struggle without traditional knowledge, without guidance. The ideas that our people are at a time of change, reclaiming space, the tension and the attitudes towards our own and other. How is calm and peace created?

I think it is a combination of two things, good and bad. Acknowledging flaws/bad/loss/trauma and letting go. How do we let it go?

As an artist my responsibility is to push the boundaries of knowledge, of systems... which systems, I don't know. It is not all pretty pictures. To create a seat from cups is to merge two things together. (conflation) to bring together (fuse) confuse or combine (as two readings) into a composite whole. To find a sense of well-being.

My role as a mother, wife, friend, woman, wahine māori is to nurture, bring balance, nourish and provide sustenance (maintain someone or something in life or existence.)