Tea at The Higgins

Artist in Residence with Bedford Creative Arts at The Higgins Bedford

Bedford Creative Arts and The Higgins Bedford welcome three artists in residence this autumn/winter, to access to the museum’s fantastic collections and meet the people of Bedford themselves.

Photograph of a woman and three children having tea © The Higgins Bedford

The Higgins Bedford is keen for a wide a range of people to engage with its collections in new and exciting ways. Working with artists is one way of doing this; it can open up all sorts of creative approaches to interpreting, displaying and using objects: Working together through the theme ‘ours’, the aim is to bring new opportunities for local people to see the collections as part of their shared cultural heritage.

Lyndall Phelps, Joshua Sofaer and S Mark Gubb will all be spending time in the town meeting local people, making art, and coming up with ideas for projects which the team hope to be able to take forward in coming years.

There are many items in the diverse collections of The Higgins Bedford that relate to tea: teacups, teapots, tea trays, tea cosies, teaspoons, tea caddies, a tea brick, drawings and photographs of people having tea, tea advertisements, tea rooms. Joshua will be using his time at Higgins to think about some of the many reverberations of tea. Tea is by far the most popular drink consumed in Britain today, with over 165,000,000 cups being drunk in the UK every single day of the year. Historically only a drink for the rich and powerful, now a drink for everybody, tea is part of a multi-billion pound global industry from the tea farms of China, India and Japan to breakfast tables in Bedford. Wars have been fought over its trading routes, personal stories have been told sharing a pot of it; the story of tea is both taken for granted and extraordinary. Look out for opportunities to drop into The Higgins for a cup early next year.