Fancy a Cup of Tea, Video Installation, 2019
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd—
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
The installation includes a video piece filmed in the artist’s family home, with his father. The artist then recites the St Crispin’s Day speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V, while his father listens and watches the TV.
The video sits in the actual living room that appears on screen, painstakingly moved from the south coast of England and rebuilt for this exhibition.
Taken from the family home that the artist has lived in all his life, which his father is thinking of selling. Tied up within all of us is that connection to home and family, how we relate that to our backgrounds and where we see ourselves now. What does it mean to return home, when you have left your original social class and been existing in another? What happens when you transform between the two? How does this transcend between father and son?
Playing with the ideas of museum recreations and how we have cultural signifiers. These signifers are an important factor to the idea of our broader identity, a nationalistic identity but also that of our own class definition. Through all these factors, the different objects and video, the work attempts to push us in different directions to try to understand our place in the possible debate going on screen but also where we sit on this difficult topic.