Our Daily Drugs (Morning
Location: Page-based commission for the Publication
From 11 – 20 April 2005, Tim performed a daily ritual, collecting data
about his tea drinking habits. Every morning after he had finished his customary
cup of tea he took the used tea bag and dropped it from a height of eight feet
onto a piece of plain paper – creating a unique tea stain drawing. In
the publication, the resulting images, displayed across three pages, appear
as abstract blotches, but, when combined with the date and time at which they
were made, they become a diary of his weekly routine.
detail from Our Daily Drugs (Morning Action
Get up, get washed, get
dressed, make a cup of tea. Most British people perform this sequence of events
every day, if not necessarily in that order. The daily ritual of the morning
cup of tea is an intrinsic part of the British way of life. Furthermore it
is one of the more common and widespread practices indicative of the natural
disposition of human nature to seek out mental and physical stimuli. Whilst
in other cultures the act of tea making is given overt deference through ritual,
it is an act that we generally take for granted. It is this act that I wanted
to acknowledge and celebrate.
How to celebrate this daily act? What is it a tea bag
would like to do once it has fulfilled its reason for creation other than
ending up in the bin, or sitting around on the end of a spoon until it is
time to wash up? ‘Splat!’ seemed like the obvious answer. Every
morning for a fixed period of time, following the making of my morning cup
of tea, I dropped the used teabag from a height of 8ft on to a sheet of paper,
thereby interrupting its passage to the bin. I then added the time and date
of dropping. In this way the work become a daily record of a fixed point in
time within my daily life. Sundays were invariably missing (tea being replaced
by coffee) and Saturdays were often recorded later than usual, and with a
noticeable difficulty to keep the point of landing to the centre on the paper.
The title Morning Action Patina alludes to the time of creation,
the role the act of dropping plays in their creation and to the use of tea
to give works of art a false patina.
Splat! on the paper.