Tea Spoon

Recently I acquired a very beautiful knitted spoon by one Suzanne Stallard of Reading.

The museum archive box in which the spoon is housed instantly appealed to my archival tendencies. Somehow a relative of the plain brown tags employed by myself and Mundane Appreciation in the development of our respective sound and Mundane museums, this plain brown box immediately aroused an art curiosity I have at the moment concerning the arrangement, organisation, and presentation of very normal things.

How is it that as soon as you place a tag on an item, or put it into a labelled box, it assumes a different – somehow more valuable – status? Christine Hill, my favourite artist, is an expert in the field of inventorying everyday things and thereby somehow celebrating them and I am fascinated by the imaginative mechanism which makes such a transformation possible. I wonder if it is just that in organising the overwhelming amount of stuff and thought that comprises everyday life, it becomes available for contemplation in a way that it isn’t, when it is just ‘stuff?’

Here is Christine Hill’s ‘Accounting Portable Office,’ containing a full inventory of usable accounting tools employed by the artist in her everyday tasks and jobs.

I suspected the box with the knitted spoon in it to have some kind of back-story, which it does. In the spirit of Attending To Everyday Things and Learning to Love Them, Suzanne had found the Museum of Reading were throwing out many archival boxes like this one. She rescued them and has been making objects to inhabit them ever since. I love the sense of care, attendance, whimsy and maintenance that inhabits this gesture, and so everytime I look at the box with the spoon in it, I think of this. It reminds me of a piece of work I learned of years ago, whereby a man noticed that the sky was reflected in the potholes when it had rained, and decided that on days when there was no rain he would manually fill the potholes, thus restoring the reflection of the sky.

A quality of noticing, appreciating, valuing, responding.

I also love the sense of celebration and homage that the knitted spoon is. It is like a mini essay concerning spoon-ness. Though appealing in its warm, comforting shape, the notion of all that fluffy yarn in one’s mouth is uncomfortable and whilst round and soft in shape like a metal spoon, it feels fragile when compared to its metal predecessor. The knitted spoon is like a 3-D drawing for me, a drawing of a spoon, carefully made. For me, in drawing or recreating something like ths knitted spoon, you change the function of the object from useful manual tool, to useful imaginative tool.

Consider, for instance, how the addition of this tag changes this discarded teabag, somehow turning it from useless detritus, to mundane museum acquisition. I believe this museum piece featured in Show #1 of The Fantastical Reality Radio Show, in the Mundane Appreciation Museum Radio feature…

As soon as I saw the knitted spoon in its box, I knew I needed to develop a knitted teabag to accompany it… my own celebration of what a tea-bag is, my own homage to something ordinarily considered to be a mindless detail.

Maybe next, somebody will be inspired to inventory their different types of sugar, or knit a sugar cube, or tag the sound of the rain as it beats down outside…

4 Responses to Tea Spoon

  1. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Archive » Audiograft, TEA and THE SONIC TUCK SHOP

  2. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Archive » Tea and Biscuits

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