As an artist I value ‘the animate in material’. The public art installation ‘Something Happened Here_Journey of 1000 Chai cups’ was selected for the curated Annual American National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Exhibition (March 1-31) in Richmond, Virginia, US. The work left Australia for the US in February. COVID restrictions prevented me and many in the ceramic community from participating in the conference that was cancelled. The exhibition went ahead online.
The work made the journey that I couldn’t. I was imagining being one of the cups. What was it like to travel and share a gallery space with artworks without the throng of humans? Upon arrival back in Australia in May the cups decided to go on another journey that reflected the current times.
Artists in The new(ab)normal exhibition and the Art +History+Theory+Culture 1 teaching team (AHTC1 team) were invited to participate in the ongoing evolution of the artwork.
Those responding were posted a cup and after using the cup for a drink of their choice they broke the cup, recording the sound of breaking on their mobile phones and gathering the shards in their hand and capturing an image.
The links to the sounds of connection will go live commencing Monday 22nd Jun and every Monday throughout the exhibition the sounds will progressively be added to this page.
The sounds and images will gradually form part of the artwork as a way of connecting this community in current times of isolation.
Updates July 13 by Andrew Gunnell, Kris Coad and Lesley Turnball
Updates on 6 July from the Art +History+Theory+Culture 1 teaching team (AHTC1 team) – Vittoria de Stefano, Sue Buchanan, and Milenko Pravcki.
Updates: 29/6/2020 – by Jude Worters, Robyn Phelan and J.Rosenbaum
Updates 22/6/2020 by Ben Sheppard, Mig Dann, Phil Edwards
Varuni Kanagasundaram, Detail: Something happened here Journey of 1,000 Chai cups, 2018- ongoing, ceramic and shards (terra cotta clay), h7.5 x w183 x d85 cm
About the artist
The creative practice of Varuni Kanagasundaram in ceramics and performance, incorporating community participation, explores cultural rituals undertaken by the South Asian ethnic community as a means to translate the expression of the diaspora. The artworks serve as a gesture to the broader diverse community to consider the dislocation of migrants.