Orleans House in Richmond Upon Thames was designed by John James as a 'house of convenience' in the 18th century. It was demolished in 1926 for the extraction of gravel. Orleans House Gallery occupies the remaining stables and Octagon building. Where the house once stood is an overgrown woodland traversed by paths and used as a recreational space by the public, to walk their dogs, practice TaiChi or paint, for example. A single rose bush survives from the era of the residency of the Duc d'Orleans.
Working with members of the public and professionals Tea explored different values given to this public place. Surveys were undertaken by land surveyors, a geophysicist (to look for evidence of the former stately home), an arboriculturalist, bat experts, botanists and an ornithologist. Interviews were recorded with visitors, an historic garden expert, historians, building surveyors, curators, artists, a worker from the time when the site was a gravel pit, the relative of a former owner, the tourism officer and an architect. Additional ambient sounds were added to construct a multi-channel sound installation in the grounds and buildings. There was no visible interference with the site. A picnic was held.
Contributors also supplied their choice of an image or produced their own through working on site. These were used to construct a map, which also included routes taken by the various surveyors and commentators and their findings, the locations of the sound installation and an interactive computer programme.
Sound Kate Tierney
Multimedia Clive Gillman
Commissioned by London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, supported by South Eastern Museums Service, London Arts Board and University of Central Lancashire.
"...a challenging alternative approach to documentary."
Andrew Brown, Live Art Magazine
Mapping Values map, detail and section of reverse