Just My Cup of Tea: Bluethumb & Madame Flavour
If you’re big into tea, you might have noticed our recent collaboration with ethical Australian tea company, Madame Flavour.
Madame Flavour chose four artworks by our local artists to use on their special series of tea. Each blend celebrates a different region of Australia, and the artworks were chosen for the way in which they embody that place and its unique qualities.
The artists involved are Bay the Artist, Kylie Fogarty, Ember Fairbairn and Andrea Edwards. Madame Flavour couldn’t help but fall in love with their pieces, and we can see why! Read on for a little more insight from each artist’s point of view.
Bay the Artist
For the Melbourne Morning Blend, Madame Flavour chose Mindmaps (Sunset) by Ashton Boyd, otherwise known as Bay the Artist. “I couldn’t quite believe it,” says Ashton. “I’m just really excited because art is such a massive part of my life and I always thought that [the art I create] would just be for my eyes.”
“I chose this artwork for its sense of celebration, of colour and of flavour.” says MF, who also hails from Melbourne. “[Those] are some of my favourite aspects of my hometown.”
“Any artist would be thrilled about such an opportunity,” says Ashton. “I think the word is ‘amazed’!”
“The Mindmap series is influenced a lot by mental health. Art has become therapy for me and has saved me from some really dark times. I donate some profits from every piece to Headspace.
“My background is Polynesian, but I didn’t know that growing up, so [the piece] is also about identity. Some of the patterns in the piece are found in Polynesian culture, for example.
“The ‘Sunset’ piece was inspired by a sunset that I saw when I was visiting the Cook Islands on Roatonga. Specifically, they were inspired by a South Pacific island while I was at a place called Muri Lagoon.”
Andrea’s artwork Green Joy features on the Sydney Morning Blend packaging. According to Andrea, “The title came to me as I realised the painting gave me an inexplicable sense of joy.” Elaborating on this, Andrea explains, “Green for me stands for nature; abundance, verdant, health, flourishing, thriving, enduring – evergreen! Joy is said to be one of the highest emotions. I notice each artwork has a personality of its own and this one, Green Joy, just keeps making me smile!”
This association between natural abundance and joy resonated with Madame Flavour. “Being born in Sydney,” she says, “I also have a feeling of joy when I am there. This painting captures my love for the waterways, the hills, and surprises around every corner of this special place.”
Andrea has already sampled the various Madame Flavour blends. She says that on any given day, “herbal tea, chai, green, white, hibiscus, chamomile and ginger are usually in the cupboard”.
“I also enjoy a nice cup of ‘regular’ [black] tea; strong, a little milk, no sugar is how I like it… I like how the act of having a cup, makes you stop, breath, pause and observe for a moment.”
Going forwards, Andrea would like to do some more exhibiting but mostly just keep creating ambient works with a focus on texture, colour and feel. “Spending time in nature and becoming aware [of the space around you] is key,” she says. “This year has seen quite a number of breakthroughs for me and I think if I knew it all ahead of time, it could have been quite daunting at the same time as being exciting! Usually, I like things to fall into place in their own perfect timing.”
Kylie Fogarty’s artwork, Studio View – Wattle VII was selected for the Australian Afternoon Grey tea – a delicate Earl Grey tea with Australian Lemon Myrtle.
“I am absolutely enchanted with the flavour of the Australian Afternoon Grey,” says Kylie, who comes from a family of big tea drinkers and has fond memories of sharing a pot in her Nanna’s home.
Kylie’s Wattle VII was inspired by the flowers growing outside her studio. “In spring the wattle outside my studio door blooms, the yellow is so happy and vibrant. It’s a wonderful way to be greeted each day.”
Of the other three flavours Kylie points to the Morning Blend as her favourite. “Each of the new flavours are robust and smooth, and pleasantly, do not need sugar to enjoy. All four will become a staple in my household.”
In terms of what’s coming up for Kylie’s art, she will be exhibiting in a group exhibition of ‘petit’ artworks – Petite Travaux at Aarwun Gallery, Canberra opening early next month. “2018 is promising to be yet another full year,” says Kylie, “I am currently working towards a Solo Exhibition at Barton Estate Cellar Door in late 2018. The exhibition will feature ink works on paper, with an expressive element.”
“I am also planning to be in the studio drawing and creating as much as possible, exploring this wonderful responsive medium, enjoying every moment.”
Finally, for the Australian Morning Blend, Madame Flavour chose Born in Passion’s Fire by Ember Fairbairn. “I really like to relate a lot of my work to the different elements in nature,” says Ember, when telling us about the piece. “For me, the fire element evokes feelings of passion and the ability to transform ourselves and keep transforming ourselves. I look to the nature of things and elements to inform my own life about how to live and how to live well.”
In the words of Madame Flavour herself, “I chose this piece for its rich expression of the Australian bush. I can see the grevillea; hear the crackling od dry grasses; and feel the warmth of this special place.”
“It’s a piece that I did some time ago,” says Ember. “My work keeps changing, and it’s always nice when you’ve done a body of work that still has contemporary value or relevance to someone else.”
“This is a really lovely opportunity to be seen,” Ember goes on. “It’s always lovely to be appreciated, so I’m very thankful to Madame Flavour for picking up the work.”