arTea: Birmingham INHABIT
Inhabit Birmingham was a 9 month project led by Hybrid Consulting involving 20 artists that transformed five empty shop spaces into vibrant 'art' tearooms - its purpose to explore the local high street and connect with local people. Melanie was very proud to have been commissioned as the lead artist for interior spaces and craft for Inhabit. The five shops were located in Ladywood, Handsworth, Stirchley, Bromford and Birmingham City centre. The tearooms were open to all and people from a variety of backgrounds and ages visited the spaces.
Melanie used techniques including, photography, printing and gilding with local people visiting the tearooms, to transform the tables and chairs into works of art. Melanie and participants also designed, etched and printed 76 steel teaspoons with local children's drawings, printed 100 tea towels with high street imagery and sent a travelling table cloth on a journey from venue to venue - the result a culmination of printed imagery representing people's memories, loves, longings, loneliness and things lost.
At the close of the programme artists engaged with over 2000 people, served countless cups of tea, hosted art workshops in the 'arTea' rooms and a gallery/ exhibition space in another and produced more than 20 new commissions, exhibitions and performances.