Little Boxes was the outcome of a nine-week residency completed at St Patrick’s College, Launceston, which was awarded and funded by the Arts Tasmania AIR program. This work lead me to bring together two previously unrelated themes in my work: consumer culture and waste/repetition. Previous to this my use of waste materials had been motivated solely by material exploration, which was also my initial motivation to utilize used teabags for this project. During the residency I was able to recognise that my interest in consumer culture, as a potter and maker of objects-of-use, was also relevant to my installation work.
The title Little Boxes refers to the song of the same name, written by Malvina Reynolds (1962), which comments on the mass-production of houses from cheap materials (referred to as ticky-tacky) in America, post World War 2. My choice to make lots of little boxes from used teabags was a reference to all of the packaging disposed of post-purchase in our consumption driven society, which in turn lead me to the song. Teabags became my ticky-tacky and “little boxes in a row” formed the motif that became the arrangement of the completed work.