Tea Stones, The Tea House, Puwak Watta, Sri Lanka

This is a commission for David Grigson and Rosalind Pomeroy, for their new Tea House, within the tea estate at Puwak Watta. The new House was being built at the time I was approached to make a work. I went on a site visit in January 2018 when the house was very partially built. It is sited adjacent to their current house and is set into the trees. David and Ros already own a map work of mine inside their main house, but they wanted to put their own stamp on the new architect designed Tea House which comprised two bedrooms and  a library and open veranda upstairs with a bridge leading out into the tea.


Drawing of rhythm of path

I had decided that the place for a work was at the end of the bridge as a portal between house, bridge and tea. In effect this a spiral path lined with boulders with standing stones at each end; where the bridge ends and where the path joins the main earth path within the tea. The two bridge standing stones were to have a  tea leaf carved on them. Originally I had wanted to split a boulder and have the carved tea leaf revealed, like a fossil. However it proved to be impossible to find the right stone which would split, so we chose two quarried stones. On my first site visit I proposed this work with two works for inside on paper, one a woven map, the other a text work for the library. All of them were to be linked.

On the second visit in March,  I was able to locate the main boulders and they were brought on site. On my return in July, the bridge was in place, but it turned out that the stone I had asked to be split had shattered, so we returned to the quarry and chose two standing stones.

These were then brought on site, the area marked out, tea bushes removed and the stones placed.

I was able to meet the man who was to carve the tea leaves on the Granite standing stones before I left and to give him detailed instructions along with the cast of a leaf which I had made. Then I had to return to the UK. David and Ros have been overseeing the laying of the path, partly by WhatsAp with me.

Tea Stones, The Tea House, Puwak Watta, Sri Lanka | 2018 | Uncategorized