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A Tea Journey: From the Mountains to the Table

6 July – 22 September 2019

Did you know that your humble cup of tea is a drink that has been around for over 2000 years? It’s grown in 60 countries around the world and on every continent except Antarctica. It’s the most widely consumed drink in the world after water. Have you ever stopped to wonder how it has crossed continents, altered society and changed people’s lives?

 

Join us as we follow the tea leaf from plant to pot, beginning with its roots in China through to its introduction to Britain (see the oldest sample of tea in Britain, on loan from the Natural History Museum), to understand how wide its influence reaches, and the impact it has had on art and culture.

We’ll dip into the darker side of tea to explore its links to empire, slavery and the Opium Wars; as well as lighter themes such as how the teapot has evolved over the centuries and how to make a proper cup of tea.

New artworks bring the exhibition right up to date, with ceramics, sculptures, installations and poetry demonstrating the enduring inspiration that tea provides. You can also explore The Tea Sensorium which features multi-sensory activities including testing your sense of smell, making clay creations inspired by Phoebe Cummings’ An Ugly Aside and designing your own teapots.

Stirs the imagination” – Visitor

We will never think about tea in the same way again! The place is great for kids too.” ★★★★★ Visitor via TripAdvisor

A must see if you are interested in tea, history and ceramics” – Visitor via Twitter

One of the best exhibitions I’ve ever experienced” – Visitor via Twitter

 

We kindly ask that you leave any bags in the lockers on the ground floor before entering the exhibition, or carry them in your hands, in order to protect some of the very fragile artworks on display.

 

Image (Right): Phoebe Cummings, An Ugly Aside, 2019, Unfired Clay Photos © Volunteer Photographer

A Tea Journey exhibition © Compton Verney, photography by Jamie Woodley

                         

Paint supplied by Zoffany