A Nice Cup of Tea?

Alternative Curricula are meeting at 6pm this Friday (28 Feb) at the Ashmolean. Our guest presenter, Fiona FitzGerald, will lead a discussion about bringing a postcolonial lens to the visual arts. As you may know, the Ashmolean is open late on a Friday once a month. We will meet in Gallery 40 to view their ceramics installation, A Nice Cup of Tea?, which aims to address a number of interconnected issues relating to the Windrush generation, the transatlantic slave trade and Empire. We will view the exhibition in Gallery 40 before moving through to Gallery 31 to discuss the readings, which can be found at tinyurl.com/altcurricula. You may also be interested to know that Uncomfortable Oxford lead tours of the Ashmolean, including some on the same evening.

Open until 22 Mar 2020

Gallery 40

Learn about the untold stories and hidden narratives of empire, trade and transatlantic slavery through this contemporary art installation inspired by the Ashmolean’s European Ceramics collection.

A cup of tea represents comfort for many of us, but every sip connects us to the legacy of the British Empire, global trade and transatlantic slavery. The fashion for drinking sweetened tea from China inspired the luxury tea sets in the Ashmolean European Ceramics Gallery. Behind this wealth was the brutal exploitation of enslaved people producing sugar in the West Indies.

Crafted over cups of tea, this installation amplifies the stories, lives and resilience of Oxford’s communities, particularly those of Oxford’s Windrush generation and African Caribbean community, many of whom have family links to the transatlantic slave trade. Local residents, students from the University of Oxford, artists, and a museum team, have imagined, invented and created ‘A Nice Cup of Tea?’.

The project is part of a city wide programme of events to commemorate the arrival of the Windrush over 70 years ago.

Installation by Enam Gbewonyo and Lois Muddiman in collaboration with BK.Luwo and Fran Monks. It is supported by The Arts Society Oxford