Words and images go together like a cup and saucer. They complement each other, enhance the function of their counterpart, encourage us to see the connection between them. Connection is everything.
I’ve been working on an anthology with the wonderful women of The Tea Set. In various forms, we’ve been together, been connected, for many years. Even through the COVID Years we found ways of chatting online, sending each other gifts in the post, keeping in touch with the people who inspire us and support us. Whether it was a synchronised cuppa on a Zoom call or sharing our latest works, we continued to enjoy our connection to each other. We’re creatives on a mission to collaborate, experiment and play, something women are rarely encouraged to do, and often prevented from doing. We also want to create work that is right for us, not what the world tells us we should. Seen and not heard is a phrase that cuts no quarter in our world. We want to be seen, heard, and noticed.
Being noticed in this world means having a digital presence.
My weekend was spent collecting crockery and laying it around the garden. We want to create images for our new website that reflect our collective identity and our individual character. The colourful, large, attention-seeking teacup and saucer above gives you a clue as to my personality! I spent hours placing it in different spots, lining up the angles, looking for shadows and reflections, and just when I thought I’d found the perfect picture… I took a look and discovered a single blade of grass had appeared out of nowhere. That’s the way of perfection, it’s always an illusion. Instead of giving me a clear view of the cup, that piece of grass had declared an intention to be noticed and to make a connection with the invader. After all, a piece of pottery is created from clay dug out of the ground so maybe the grass was reaching up to say hello. And when I looked again, I could see that there were other blades of grass making themselves known.
Like the women of The Tea Set, the grass wasn’t ready to be ignored merely because a more colourful, immaculately presented newcomer was on the block. Like the grass, we’re ready to stand our ground in these interesting times, to be noticed and to be who we are in a rapidly changing world. From the global aftermath of the pandemic, a war in Europe, increasingly draconian control of women in countries life Afghanistan and America, a cost-of-living crisis, the impending climate chaos, and the rise of AI, we’re braced for turbulent times. What gives us the conviction to keep creating and keep wanting to be seen and heard? Connection. We have each other and we have the sisterhood of all the other women around the world who are finding their voices and painting their own pictures. It’s never easy and every day demands energy and conviction but knowing that other women are succeeding and finding a way to express themselves is a powerful incentive to keep on creating.
Do you want sugar in your tea at sunset? No, thanks. I don’t need sugar to sweeten reality.