LINDA DUVALL Visual and Media Artist
Tea Gone Cold 2000
Tea Gone Cold investigates the implications and complexities of familiar family stories. Such narratives may seem pedestrian, but they define and influence individual behaviors and attitudes and family dynamics for generations. Through repetition of the story, attention is focused on the nuances of ordinary language.
This work focuses on one specific
and fairly mundane family story. Eighteen different people are asked to
retell this story as if it had happened in their family. The compiled
texts are digitally edited onto 6 channels, and are presented through
6 pairs of hidden speakers.
Tea Gone Cold consists of panels of white fabric. On some of the panels are stitched images using a sewing machine. The style of the stitching suggests the back, rather than the neatly completed front, of traditional needlework. The images sewn into these panels point to familiar public images that pervasively shape our understanding of the family network and of the story that is being retold. For example, the image of the Royal family both defines the traditional shape of the family and ironically suggests the cracks of this illusion. A stereotypical Madonna and Child (Bellini's Madonna of the Meadows) acknowledges the long visual history of the mother/son bond, discussed at length in the text. The images are sewn with white thread on white fabric, making them barely visible on initial viewing. The intent is to create a conversation between the audio and visual material, with both gradually revealing with the passage of time in the gallery space.
A related element in this exhibition is an elongated needlepoint table, shaped from an actual needlepoint frame and then extended. On this table are strewn 36 stones which have been hand covered with thin fabric. The sewing styles on these stones subtlely reveal that different hands have worked on these objects. The stones are the residue that the family has left, much like the relics from earlier stories.