Leave of Distinction

For the first time in four years, I planned a trip to Newcastle purely for personal reasons.  My aunt, Wilma “Empress Wu” Simmons, had invited me to speak at her latest art exhibition opening, Leaves of Distinction, which was textile art about tea, so I took some annual leave and made a long weekend of it.

I flew on the day of the exhibition and started off thematically by having a cup of mint and lavender tissane at the Velocity Lounge.  This teapot was on display but it was just there to tease and I wasn’t allowed to brew in it.

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I landed mid morning while last minute preparations were made and well-deserved pampering at the hairdresser was being enjoyed.

We bought lunch at Market Town on the way home from the airport, and I wouldn’t have otherwise mentioned it except that the sushi rice was purple.  In an unbelieveble turn of events, I don’t actually have a photo of my lunch for once *audience gasps* so I can’t share it with you.  But it was the colour of the outside of an eggplant.  I kid you not.

I spent the afternoon tweaking my speech and then it was time to head to the gallery.  Timeless Textiles’s new address is the old police station and lockup.  Leaves of Distinction was the first exhibition to occupy this new (old) space.

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I met up with my cousin who was there to provide moral support to both me and her mother.

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I had a meander through the exhibition before everyone arrived and soaked it in.

I didn’t think I could do a better job at explaining the artwork than the actual artist could so I have used her words to caption my photos.

Title : Red Zinger Sky 1,2,3  Description:  Mixed media collage with eco print and stitching on khadi paper (inspired by Elizabeth Bunsen)  Technique : Sandwiched eco print with leaves and red zinger tea bags  Materials : khadi paper, silk, wool, tea bag paper, embroidery thread, eucalypt leaves, red zinger tea bags, stretched canvas, fibre paste. bark.

Title : Red Zinger Sky 1,2,3
Description: Mixed media collage with eco print and stitching on khadi paper (inspired by Elizabeth Bunsen)
Technique : Sandwiched eco print with leaves and red zinger tea bags
Materials : khadi paper, silk, wool, tea bag paper, embroidery thread, eucalypt leaves, red zinger tea bags, stretched canvas, fibre paste. bark.

Titles : Assam Bold  1, 2 and 3   Description :  - Art Dolls/Mixed media sculptures inspired by Assam Bold tea and the old  practices of expert tea tasters.  The Masters can be a set of three or separate, as each has its own story.   Techniques:  •Machine and hand stitched clothing featuring the use of tea bag paper in various ways.   •  Tea dyed  silk and cotton  • Tea dyed  handmade silk cords  •	Sculpted  polymer clay head, hands and feet, •	Wrapped wire armature   	 Materials: Tea dyed silk and  cotton, tea bag paper, raffia, polymer clay, aluminium wire and foil, metal weights

Titles : Assam Bold 1, 2 and 3
Description : – Art Dolls/Mixed media sculptures inspired by Assam Bold tea and the old practices of expert tea tasters. The Masters can be a set of three or separate, as each has its own story.
Techniques:
• Machine and hand stitched clothing featuring the use of tea bag paper in various ways.
• Tea dyed silk and cotton
• Tea dyed handmade silk cords
• Sculpted polymer clay head, hands and feet,
• Wrapped wire armature
Materials: Tea dyed silk and cotton, tea bag paper, raffia, polymer clay, aluminium wire and foil, metal weights

Assam Bold 1

Assam Bold 1

Assam Bold 1 & 2

Assam Bold 1 & 2

Assam Bold 3

Assam Bold 3

Title : 24 Tea Travels  4 - Mando PNG   25Tea Travels  5 - Mando PNG 26 Tea Travels  6 - Mando PNG Description : Mixed media collage photo silk organza/chiffon print  , tea bags and stitching  Technique: Digitally manipulated photos printed onto  silk organza  or chiffon  and tea bags  applied to  stretched canvas  with hand stitching,  sculptured head.   Materials: silk organza or chiffon, tea bag paper, Perle thread, air dry clay.

Title : Tea Travels 4 – Mando PNG
Tea Travels 5 – Mando PNG
Tea Travels 6 – Mando PNG
Description : Mixed media collage photo silk organza/chiffon print , tea bags and stitching
Technique: Digitally manipulated photos printed onto silk organza or chiffon and tea bags applied to stretched canvas with hand stitching, sculptured head.
Materials: silk organza or chiffon, tea bag paper, Perle thread, air dry clay.

Camomile Tea, Cat and Tea, and Owls and Tea

Camomile Tea, Cat and Tea, and Owls and Tea

Title : Owls and  Tea  Description : Art doll /mixed media sculpture, inspired by the Edward Lear limerick :  There was an old man of Dumbree, Who taught little owls to drink tea; For he said, 'To eat mice, Is not proper or nice' That amiable man of Dumbree.   Techniques :  •Machine and handstitched clothing   • Tea dyed fabrics  •Sculpted  polymer clay head, hands and feet, •	Wrapped wire armature   •	 Sculpted and painted  polymer clay figures  Materials : Tea dyed  fabrics, tea bag paper, wool fabric, wool roving, stretch cotton fabric , polymer clay, acrylic paint  aluminium wire and foil, aluminium tea pot and china miniatures.

Title : Owls and Tea
Description : Art doll /mixed media sculpture, inspired by the Edward Lear limerick :
There was an old man of Dumbree,
Who taught little owls to drink tea;
For he said, ‘To eat mice,
Is not proper or nice’
That amiable man of Dumbree.
Techniques :
• Machine and handstitched clothing
• Tea dyed fabrics
• Sculpted polymer clay head, hands and feet,
• Wrapped wire armature
• Sculpted and painted polymer clay figures
Materials : Tea dyed fabrics, tea bag paper, wool fabric, wool roving, stretch cotton fabric , polymer clay, acrylic paint aluminium wire and foil, aluminium tea pot and china miniatures.

Title : Cat and Tea  Description : Art doll /mixed media sculpture, inspired by the Edward Lear limerick :     There was an old man on the Border, Who lived in the utmost disorder;  He danced with the cat, and made tea in his hat,  Which vexed all the folks on the Border.  Techniques :  •Machine and handstitched clothing   • Tea dyed fabrics  •Sculpted  polymer clay head, hands and feet, •	Wrapped wire armature   •	 Needle felting (cat)   Materials : Tea dyed  fabrics, tea bag paper, wool fabric, wool roving, stretch cotton fabric , polymer clay aluminium wire and foil, aluminium tea pot and china miniature.

Title : Cat and Tea
Description : Art doll /mixed media sculpture, inspired by the Edward Lear limerick :
There was an old man on the Border,
Who lived in the utmost disorder;
He danced with the cat, and made tea in his hat,
Which vexed all the folks on the Border.
Techniques :
• Machine and handstitched clothing
• Tea dyed fabrics
• Sculpted polymer clay head, hands and feet,
• Wrapped wire armature
• Needle felting (cat)
Materials : Tea dyed fabrics, tea bag paper, wool fabric, wool roving, stretch cotton fabric , polymer clay aluminium wire and foil, aluminium tea pot and china miniature.

Title : Camomile Tea  Description : Art doll /mixed media sculpture, inspired by the Edward Lear limerick :  There was an Old Man of Vienna, Who lived upon Tincture of Senna; When that did not agree, He took Camomile Tea, That nasty Old Man of Vienna.  Techniques :  • Machine and handstitched clothing - vest created from tea bag paper attached to wool fabric and machine stitched in a grid pattern •Fabrics overdyed with tea •	Sculpted  polymer clay head, hands and feet, •	Wrapped wire armature   •	Decoupage with tea bags  Materials : Upcycled tea dipped  fabrics, tea bag paper, wool fabric, wool roving, stretch cotton fabric , polymer clay aluminium wire and foil, china tea pot and miniatures.

Title : Camomile Tea
Description : Art doll /mixed media sculpture, inspired by the Edward Lear limerick :
There was an Old Man of Vienna,
Who lived upon Tincture of Senna;
When that did not agree,
He took Camomile Tea,
That nasty Old Man of Vienna.
Techniques :
• Machine and handstitched clothing – vest created from tea bag paper attached to wool fabric and machine stitched in a grid pattern
• Fabrics overdyed with tea
• Sculpted polymer clay head, hands and feet,
• Wrapped wire armature
• Decoupage with tea bags
Materials : Upcycled tea dipped fabrics, tea bag paper, wool fabric, wool roving, stretch cotton fabric , polymer clay aluminium wire and foil, china tea pot and miniatures.

Title : Tea Travels  1: Port Macquarie, NSW  Tea Travels 2 Port Macquarie, Queensland Tea Travels 3 Kellarilampi, Finland  Description : Mixed media collage  - photo on organza and stitched tea bags.  Technique: Digitally manipulated photos printed onto organza  applied to  stretched canvas  with hand stitched tea bags.  Materials: silk organza, tea bags, embroidery thread, stretched canvas, texture paste, acrylic paint

Title : Tea Travels 1: Port Macquarie, NSW
Tea Travels 2 Port Macquarie, NSW Tea Travels 3 Kellarilampi, Finland
Description : Mixed media collage – photo on organza and stitched tea bags.
Technique: Digitally manipulated photos printed onto organza applied to stretched canvas
with hand stitched tea bags.
Materials: silk organza, tea bags, embroidery thread, stretched canvas, texture paste, acrylic paint

Title: August Moon 1 - 4 Description :  West Lake Hangzhou, China  Wild Goose Pagoda  Xian, China  St Stephan’s, Passau, Germany  Central Hall, Birmingham, England  Mixed media collage  - photo on organza, tea bags and hand  stitching  Technique: Digitally manipulated photo print on organza, applied to  tea dyed stretched canvas  with hand stitching and stamping.   Materials: silk organza, tea bags, stranded cotton thread/Perle thread,  stretched canvas Title :  Book of Leaves   Description: Eco dyed  and eco print  book with poetry inspired by nature   Techniques    Sandwich dyeing with leaves, turmeric and tea bags -and hand stitching  Wool and tea bag covers with hand made silk cords and boulder opal feature   Materials : khadi paper, boulder opal, watercolour paper, wool, silk and  beeswax. Title  Book of  Seasons  Description: Eco dyed  and eco print  book      Techniques    Sandwich dyeing with leaves and tea bags -and hand stitching   hand made silk cords and silk prints    Materials : khadi paper, , watercolour paper, wool, silk and printed images beeswax.

Title: August Moon 1 – 4
Description :
West Lake Hangzhou, China
Wild Goose Pagoda Xian, China
St Stephan’s, Passau, Germany
Central Hall, Birmingham, England
Mixed media collage – photo on organza, tea bags and hand stitching
Technique: Digitally manipulated photo print on organza, applied to tea dyed stretched canvas with hand stitching and stamping.
Materials: silk organza, tea bags, stranded cotton thread/Perle thread, stretched canvas
Title : Book of Leaves
Description: Eco dyed and eco print book with poetry inspired by nature
Techniques Sandwich dyeing with leaves, turmeric and tea bags -and hand stitching
Wool and tea bag covers with hand made silk cords and boulder opal feature
Materials : khadi paper, boulder opal, watercolour paper, wool, silk and beeswax.
Title Book of Seasons
Description: Eco dyed and eco print book
Techniques Sandwich dyeing with leaves and tea bags -and hand stitching
hand made silk cords and silk prints
Materials : khadi paper, , watercolour paper, wool, silk and printed images beeswax.

Title : Lu Tong’s Seven  Description: Art doll inside a Chinese tea cup with a  hand written copy of a tea poem by Lu Tong  The first cup kisses away my thirst, and my loneliness is quelled by the second. The third gives insight worthy of ancient scrolls, and the fourth exiles my troubles. My body becomes lighter with the fifth, and the sixth sends word from immortals. But the seventh—oh the seventh cup— if I drink you, a wind will hurry my wings toward the sacred island. - Lu Tong (795-835 A.D.) (trans. Christopher Nelson*) Technique - art dolls made from tea dyed silk and cotton, with hand stitching and polymer clay faces.  Materials - tea dyed silk, tea dyed cotton, stablishing material, fibre fill, polymer clay, embroidery thread

Title : Lu Tong’s Seven
Description: Art doll inside a Chinese tea cup with a hand written copy of a tea poem by Lu Tong
The first cup kisses away my thirst,
and my loneliness is quelled by the second.
The third gives insight worthy of ancient scrolls,
and the fourth exiles my troubles.
My body becomes lighter with the fifth,
and the sixth sends word from immortals.
But the seventh—oh the seventh cup—
if I drink you, a wind will hurry my wings
toward the sacred island. – Lu Tong (795-835 A.D.) (trans. Christopher Nelson*)
Technique – art dolls made from tea dyed silk and cotton, with hand stitching and polymer clay faces.
Materials – tea dyed silk, tea dyed cotton, stablishing material, fibre fill, polymer clay, embroidery thread

Three of Lu Tong's Seven

Three of Lu Tong’s Seven

Title : Bohea  Description : Art doll /mixed media sculpture, inspired by Bohea tea and  a poem by Elizabeth Darcy Jones Lapsang’s brother is a seer… he’s up at dawn to light a fire he is souchong he is withdrawn  this is Bohea…  Techniques :  • Machine and hand stitched clothing -   •Tea dyed fabric  •	Sculpted  polymer clay head, hands and feet, •	Wrapped wire armature  Materials: •	Decoupage with tea bags  Materials: Tea dyed cotton, tea bags, polymer clay, aluminium wire and foil, vintage teapot.

Title : Bohea
Description : Art doll /mixed media sculpture, inspired by Bohea tea and a poem by Elizabeth Darcy Jones
Lapsang’s brother is a seer…
he’s up at dawn to light a fire
he is souchong
he is withdrawn
this is Bohea…
Techniques :
• Machine and hand stitched clothing –
• Tea dyed fabric
• Sculpted polymer clay head, hands and feet,
• Wrapped wire armature Materials:
• Decoupage with tea bags
Materials:
Tea dyed cotton, tea bags, polymer clay, aluminium wire and foil, vintage teapot.

Titles: Lady Grey Rose Keemun Masala Chai Description :  - Art Dolls/Mixed media sculptures inspired blended tea.   Techniques :  • Machine and hand stitched clothing     •  Tea dyed  lace, silk and cotton   • Sculpted  head - cloth over clay - coloured with pencils and fine tipped felt pens and gel pens.  • Cloth body   Materials : Tea dyed silk  and cotton, wool, air dry clay, stabilising material, fibre fill.

Titles:
Lady Grey
Rose Keemun
Masala Chai
Description : – Art Dolls/Mixed media sculptures inspired blended tea.
Techniques :
• Machine and hand stitched clothing
• Tea dyed lace, silk and cotton
• Sculpted head – cloth over clay – coloured with pencils and fine tipped felt pens and gel pens.
• Cloth body
Materials : Tea dyed silk and cotton, wool, air dry clay, stabilising material, fibre fill.

Lady Grey

Lady Grey

Masala Chai

Rose Keemun

Rose Keemun

Tea Thoughts

Tea Thoughts

Tea Thought

Tea Thought

Falling Leaves

Falling Leaves

Wilma with Tea and Owls

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Wilma with Tea and Owls

Title : Solitary Tea  Description :  Photo - Jane See  Mixed media collage  - photo print on organza, tea bags handwritten poem  and stitching  Technique: Digitally manipulated photo printed onto organza  and tea bags  applied to  stretched canvas  with hand stitching. Original calligraphy printed hand writing on tea bags  Materials : organza, tea bags, stretched canvas, gel medium  embroidery thread  Sipping Tea in the Shade Description : Photo - Su See  Mixed media collage  - photo print on silk  organza, tea bags handwritten poem  and stitching  Technique: Digitally manipulated photo printed onto organza  and tea bags  applied to  stretched canvas  with hand stitching, stamped tea bags Materials : organza, tea bags, stretched canvas, gel medium  embroidery thread  Between Dinner and Tea Description : Photo -  Rose Sophia Redrup  with her “husband”, Walter Jones and son, James Alfred Jones.   Background - a page from a United Suffragettes Association  broadsheet,  Quotation ( Hannah Mitchell), from a display in the People’s Museum,Manchester UK  Mixed media collage  - photo prints on silk organza and  tea bag paper  hand and stitching  Technique: Photo and photo copy printed onto silk organza  and tea bags  applied to  stretched canvas  with hand stitching Materials : organza, tea bags, buttons,  stretched canvas, Perle embroidery thread   Votes for Women  Description : Photo -  Mary Jane Simmons (nee Russell)   Background - from a  pamphlet, advertising a political meeting    Mixed media collage  - photo prints on silk organza and  tea bag paper  hand and stitching  Technique: Photo and photo copy printed onto silk organza  and tea bags  applied to  stretched canvas  with hand stitching Materials : organza, tea bags, buttons,  stretched canvas, Perle embroidery thread

Title : Solitary Tea
Description : Photo – Jane See
Mixed media collage – photo print on organza, tea bags handwritten poem and stitching
Technique: Digitally manipulated photo printed onto organza and tea bags applied to stretched canvas with hand stitching. Original calligraphy printed hand writing on tea bags
Materials : organza, tea bags, stretched canvas, gel medium embroidery thread
Sipping Tea in the Shade
Description : Photo – Su See
Mixed media collage – photo print on silk organza, tea bags handwritten poem and stitching
Technique: Digitally manipulated photo printed onto organza and tea bags applied to stretched canvas with hand stitching, stamped tea bags
Materials : organza, tea bags, stretched canvas, gel medium embroidery thread
Between Dinner and Tea
Description : Photo – Rose Sophia Redrup
with her “husband”, Walter Jones and son, James Alfred Jones.
Background – a page from a United Suffragettes Association broadsheet,
Quotation ( Hannah Mitchell), from a display in the People’s Museum,Manchester UK
Mixed media collage – photo prints on silk organza and tea bag paper hand and stitching
Technique: Photo and photo copy printed onto silk organza and tea bags applied to stretched canvas with hand stitching
Materials : organza, tea bags, buttons, stretched canvas, Perle embroidery thread
Votes for Women
Description : Photo – Mary Jane Simmons (nee Russell)
Background – from a pamphlet, advertising a political meeting
Mixed media collage – photo prints on silk organza and tea bag paper hand and stitching
Technique: Photo and photo copy printed onto silk organza and tea bags applied to stretched canvas with hand stitching
Materials : organza, tea bags, buttons, stretched canvas, Perle embroidery thread

I regretted not getting a better photo of the last set of work.  Jane See and Su See where my great-great grandmothers.

My aunt provides a great explanation of the content and artistic processes used in the exhibition in this short film, so you don’t just have to rely on my interpretation.

Soon, the who’s who of textiles in Newcastle were starting to arrive and it was time to open the evening.  I was introduced by Anne, the owner of Timeless Textiles, with a bio that I wrote myself:

Yvette Griggs is the niece and goddaughter of this exhibition’s creator and, sharing her aunt’s artistic passion, creates digital artworks under the name “de la souris d’Yvette” (from the mouse of Yvette).

Not yet daring enough to quit her day job, Yvette also has an honours degree in Computer Systems Engineering and works as a Railway Signalling Engineer, warming up for speaking at tonight’s event by recently presenting a technical paper at the Thales Axle Counter User Group Seminar in Frankfurt.

Yvette’s favourite teas are French Earl Grey and Jasmine Pearls, and she is the creator of the widely unknown cocktail, the South Brisbane Iced Tea.

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And then I began my speech…DSC_0089

My mother is Wilma’s little sister.  Two birthday’s ago, my mother gave Wilma a book called “Distinguished Leaves – Poems for tea-lovers”. And this book inspired her to see the humble cup of tea as a topic that should be creatively explored through textiles and art dolls.  
My mother, as the giver of the book that started it all, and an avid tea drinker herself, was invited to address you tonight but unfortunately she’s in Dublin at the moment attending a Mercy pilgrimage, so I’m afraid, you’re stuck with Plan B.  (You can read about her travels here).

Elizabeth Darcy Jones is the author of Distinguished Leaves.  
I had initially though that Elizabeth Darcy Jones was the nome du plume of a keen Jane Austen fan but this is actually her real name, and she is a real person – a close personal friend of Stephen Fry no less, which just adds more weight to her credibility.
Her book contains 40 delightful poems exploring the history and characters of tea, coining the portmanteau “poetea” in her own introduction.  

Lady EDJ, as she refers to herself in her twitter handle, may be the ‘House Poet’ for Beatons Tearooms and Bookshop in Tisbury, but she is certainly not the first to express her tea obsession in verse.

Wei Yingwu, an 8th century Tang Dynasty poet composed “The Joy of Growing Tea in my Garden” describing tea as a pure spiritual liquid “for drinking it expunges dust and woe”.

14th century Japanese luminary, Gidoo Shuushin, held a similar reverence for tea, reflecting in verse, 

“ I received a small brick of tea
And sipping it, felt cool; I can do with the wind as I will.
Why should I need paradise? 
My whole body is floating amid the white clouds.”

Asia is considered the birth place of tea, and classically oriental tea is quite different to the black english breakfast that most of us brew as a standard.  
When Dutch merchants attempted to export chinese tea all the way back to the west, in the lusious green state that it was sold in china, they found that it didn’t survive the damp conditions and long journey.  
Chinese tea makers had to experiment with allowing the tea to blacken before drying, which produces the “barbarian” tea that was to become popular all over europe by the mid 1600s.

But the differences in tea processing style haven’t meant that europeans favour tea any less than their Asian bretheren.  
Our favourite Anglophone authors have penned odes to tea as well.  
Rudyard Kipling, T.S. Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Edward Lear, just to drop a few names.  
In fact Rudyard Kipling’s cuppa was so dear to him that his poem recounting an incident of a kettle cracking ends with the line “The bottom is out of the Universe!” 

Tea is not limited to merely being the subject of poetry – the drinking of this drink can be a muse in itself.

The Song Dynasty has been described as the romantic period of tea drinking.  
The social elite of this time were preoccupied with the seeking of pleasure and luxury – qualities strongly associated with a refined beverage such as tea. 
 During this period, many tea houses were established all over china to allow for public tea drinking and socialising.  
Song tea houses were not just the places to be seen, but also provided a venue for the writing and reciting of poetry. 

And tea’s ability to hydrate the creative juices of humanity is not just confined to literature.

For centuries, artisans have crafted beautiful vessels – cups, saucers, pots, creamers, jugs, bowls – to allow tea to be enjoyed to its full potential by all of the senses.  
Artistic Yixing clay teapots, first crafted in the Song dynasty, are sculpted with nature-inspired adornments and are assigned particular colours depending on the type of tea they will be used for brewing.

 
This style of teapot is still sold today and can be worth more than $3000.

As tea’s rapture spread across the globe, different styles of decorative embellishment on tea drinking implements became synomous with the tea drinking experience.  
Although not technically limited to decorating teapots, my favourite crockery pattern, without a doubt, is Willowware.  
My grandmother has an enviable willowware collection 

Some of Grandma's Willow ware collection can be seen underneath all the Christmas in this photo

Some of Grandma’s Willowware collection can be seen underneath all the Christmas in this photo

and as a tween, I was taught to identify the blue and white hallmarks – the willow tree, the bridge, the enchanted lovers turned into birds – all knowledge imparted with an extra strong bushels with soy milk and 2 lumps – my grandmother’s standard brew.

Not only are works created to facilitate the consumption of tea, but the sacred acts of preparing and drinking tea are depicted in visual art.

Spring Morning in the Han Palace, a famous scroll painting by 16th century Ming Dynasty artist, Qiu Ying, shows ladies of the court engaging in fine literari preoccupations such as playing musical instruments, picking flowers, chasing butterflies, playing chess, dancing, gossiping, bribing artists to paint their portraits less realistically, and, most importantly brewing tea.


Although not depicted as often as semi-nude biblical characters, tea drinkers and tea drinking implements are reasonably prevalent in European paintings from the 17th century onwards, capturing the habits of the time.

Sharing a penchant for willoware with my grandmother, English genre and sometimes pre-raphealite artist George Dunlop Leslie features a willoware teaset in his 1894 painting, simply entitled “Tea”.  


A domestic servant with a strawberry shortcake style mop cab and an english rose complexion, pours tea for the viewer, giving us a glimpse of the simple joys of English life at the time.  
The theme of Leslie’s works at this stage was to highlight the sunny side of english domestic life and its not surprising that the drinking of tea features not only in this piece but in others in his collection.

In Leaves of Distinction, you will see that Wilma has crafted a unique blend of tea and art, which echoes a long tradition of humanity’s love affair with tea.

But why do we have such a strong and long lasting affinity with this beverage?

All tea comes from the same species of plant, Camellia sinensis.

But, you may wonder, as I did upon reading this fact, how can this be, teas are so different, so individual, so varied, how can they possibly be from the same species?

Different teas are picked at different times of the year, from different parts of the plant and undergo different processing and preparation.

Varieties of tea are different ages, are grown in different places, are nurtured in different ways, look different, and act in different ways when they get in hot water.

Does this remind you of another species?

Perhaps humans are so universally enamored with our tea because we see similar characteristics, unique and bespoke like our own, like those Wilma has brought to life in this exhibition.

There are so many teas to encounter, and even with our very individual tastes, perhaps there is a perfect tea for us all – a soul tea if you will.

Whether you are the sort of barbarian (like me) who would sacrilegiously spoil a tea with milk and biscuit crumbs or are the type of tea aficionado who measures water temperature to decimal degrees to ensure optimal behaviour of your unfurling leaves, I hope you enjoy Leaves of Distinction tonight and may the teas be ever in your flavour.

4 thoughts on “Leave of Distinction

  1. Many thanks, Yvette, for this wonderful post on Wilma’s exhibition, “Leaves of Distinction”. It is certainly much appreciated by those of us who were, unfortunately, unable to go to Newcastle to view it first-hand. Of course, my favourite photo would have to be the one of Wilma with the Old Man from Dumbree. Your speech was very entertaining and informative and I am sure, delivered beautifully as the opening commentary to the launch. You and your aunt are very talented and creative people, and we are all very proud of the both of you.

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