Medium: Broken Teaware, Chicken Wire, Paper, Acrylic  /  Year: 2017-2018.

We grow and serve you tea; you consume our image.
When envisioning the people who grow our tea, one often imagines a romanticized vision of the “Far East.” This image has infected the "Western World" for centuries. It is the remnant of bloody empire, which continues to dominate the discourse of tea consumption.
When drinking any tea, no matter its origins, it is important to remember that history of colonialism that continues to fan the tea industry. These legacies of injustice are replicated across the world, from the people who grow “fare trade” tea (but barely make enough money to survive) to the people who serve the tea (and barely make enough money to live in Northampton).
The Other Angel is made of broken tea-ware, the same tea-ware that shatters on the floor of Dobrá Tea in Northamton. These broken vessels, fractured images and mythologies, construct a winged figure: half angel, half-starved skeleton. It stands for those who are hidden behind the mask of exotic otherness, attempting to escape from the legacies of continued imperialism. Whether this mask is used to sell commodities, or to build walls, it obscures a reality that screams to be seen. On a personal level, I myself am usually characterized as an Other. But I am a safe Other. It is hard to be scared of an Other who smiles at you while serving tea and working for "tip-pay."

The piece is a call to action and a call for awareness. Every cup of tea comes with its history. It is essential not the ignore that injustices that occur at every level of a commodities production. Whether it be your servers in Northampton, or tea plantation workers in India, all injustices are linked.
It is for this reason that it is necessary for everyone to stand together. Dialogue and conversation are the beginning of constructive change. Never be afraid to ask questions. Even though the winged statue is half starved, it stands irresolute, prepared to fly, unite and take flight.
Dobra Tea Aftermath:
The piece was originally built to be exhibited for the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, and was meant to engage in a workers rights conversation. On the owners request, "The Other Angel" was later installed in the Dobra Tea Northampton location. It thus interacted directly with the institution and the population it was constructively criticizing.  
After the piece was placed in its new home,  the owners of the Dobra Tea room requested to have a meeting with me (they hadn't pre-approved the above "artist statement). The first thing they asked was: "Are you happy here?" That statement was quickly followed by: "Do you want us to be scared of you?" After that meeting the owners announced that we were receiving a $0.50 cent raise. In a following staff meeting, we were informed that, over the course of a number of years, they would slowly increase are salary to $15.00 dollars an hour.
The question of culture appropriation and the colonialist roots of our profession is still ongoing in the tea house.  The owners keep stating that it is an issue they would love to address, but that they don't want to "alienate their clients." 
I a worked at Dobra Tea, Northampton for almost two years. I this time, I was even promoted to "Shift Supervisior" before I quit. 
After more then six months in Dobra Tea, the Angel wanted to escape. After brushing off the year of tea dust, I moved "The Other Angel" to another location. Besides a rushing brook, the Angel resided for four months, listening to the water's stories. 
Final Decay:
Once the snow and damp air began to eat through the Angel's skin, it transitioned to a final resting place. Accompanying a tree that was cut, severed, the "Other Angel" slowly began to crumble. It became one with the forest, one with the tree, who's still live roots reached deep into the earth. Maybe one day the tree will grow back again, encircling the "Other Angel."​​​​​​​
++ Permanent Installation: Dobra Tea, Northampton. Location: 186 Main Street,
Northampton, MA. Date: January 2018 - September 2018.
++ Title of Show: "Art on the Menu: Unite the Resistance!". Location: Community Arts Center, Northampton, MA. Date: December 7th-8th 2017.
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