English Tea Magic

Venice Art Biennale, Giardini.

I was in need for tea and a seat, and chose to continue anyway because there was only a few hours before the Biennale area would close for the day. A lot of artworks and limited time.
english magic 01I really enjoyed the exhibition at the British Pavillion. The title itself was promising: English Magic – by Jeremy Deller. Already approaching the pavillion I got excited as I could just make out a large bird of prey on the wall inside. It was a huge painting of a hen harrier (blå kærhøg in danish, Circus cyaneus in latin). ‘A Good Day for Cyclists’ painted by Sarah Tynan.
english magic 06
I got even more pleased a few rooms later inside the pavillion: A tea room! You could get a cup of tea for free, and sit down and drink it either inside – or on the terrace which was open on the second day I visited (yes I came back!).english magic 03
english magic 05english magic 04Of course I loved this idea – and how it was so perfectly british. Plus all the art in the pavillon was deeply meaningful in an understated and poetic way.
The tea was PG Tips, and it was lovely, an english classic in tea bags.

The Japanese Pavillion also had a little thing about tea that moved and amused me. I won’t go into details, will just put a short extract from the artist’ notes: when you drink tea

A few links to the Biennale and the British Pavillion:
The British Council’s presentation of the show, Wallpapers top ten highlights, the Guardians top ten, the British Pavillion in The Guardian and the show’s central work; the film ‘English Magic’ by Jeremy Deller.

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