Tea

By The Way

1998/9

artranspennine98 commissioned Tea to 'reveal the region'. What is this region? Can an image of it be made? Which places and people are representative?

The term 'transpennine' is most familiar as a car journey. Hotels provide convenient stopping off points. These factors structured the project.

A journey from Hull to Liverpool between four hotels was recorded in real time by a camera pointing out of the nearside window. Wherever the car (and therefore the video image) came to a halt because of traffic conditions a photograph was taken to record the location. On subsequent journeys people who lived or worked at these locations were invited to record their comments about the place. These seventy six commentaries became the sound track.

The resulting uncut five hour video, a portrait of England from coast to coast, was shown in real time to a passing audience in the foyers of the Forte Hotels that had punctuated the original journey.

The publication in concertina format documented each location with a quotation from each interview on the reverse. It was funded by Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Central Lancashire.

ISBN 0 9536370 0 X

Photograph from Making Tracks, the artranspennine catalogue

"..... the whole thing works: the shots of ordinary houses slipping by, the talk of friends and family, the locations for viewing - the lobbies of four Forte Hotels... could not be more mundane, the concept more ordinary but somehow it too delights. For this ordinariness, this everyday journey of stops and starts and traffic lights and semi-detached houses is a fundamental feature of the artranspennine experience."

Lynn MacRitchie in the Financial Times