An enormous structure in wrought-iron – a teapot –, covered and decorated with vegetation – jasmine plants –, imposes its monumental presence, capturing the immediate attention of the audience. In the iron railings that give the teapot its form, one recognises the distinctive patterns of fences and balustrades which can be seen throughout different urban and rural landscapes.
The object takes the form of a veritable arbour-sculpture; the manifestation of an idealised principle of complementarity and symbiosis between the natural and the industrial. The wrought-iron, an architectural element both functional and decorative, is charged with structural importance in the construction of the object, whose domesticity is denied by the exaggeration of its habitual scale. The jasmine – which envelops the entire structure of the piece in the shape of a teapot –, whose flowers are commonly used to scent green tea, highlights the connection between the object and the custom of tea drinking.
In this respect, let us mention the subtle historical allusion present in the piece that regards the leading role taken on by the Portuguese in the introduction of tea in European habits of consumption after their arrival in the East, having brought back to Portugal shiploads of tea which would then be exported to several European ports; or the example of Catherine of Braganza (1638-1705), Portuguese Infanta and Queen Consort of England and Scotland, to whom is also attributed the role of having introduced the custom of drinking tea into the English court.
Assertive historical and cultural references and allusions to the urban, rural, domestic and public reality work together in a strategy of appropriation, de-contextualisation and subversion of banality, transporting the spectator to a universe that challenges the programmed routines of the quotidian; a strange and simultaneously familiar world.