Literally digging into the ground of her family property in Barbados, Annalee Davis mines family archives to unpack the plantation, and its multi-layered history. (bush) Tea Services incorporates found porcelain shards from tea sets and cheap crockery unearthed from around the yard and surrounding fields of the former plantation. Re-purposing these fragments, Davis has included them in a new set of tea cups, saucers and a teapot in the form of a traditional water carrier called a ‘monkey jar’. From the tea set, she serves (unsweetened) varieties of bush tea collected from the fields of the former sugarcane plantation and adjoining rab lands. Sugar-sweetened tea, a psycho-tropical sweet stimulant, provided not only a moment to pause and refresh, but a cheap tool to prolong the working capacity of the enslaved in the field. For the enslaved, many of the herbs in these bush teas also offered medical uses in bush baths, for healing, and to prevent or terminate unwanted pregnancies.
The tea service was made in collaboration with master potter Hamilton Wiltshire, using local red clay from the Scotland District on the East Coast of Barbados. Davis’ (bush) tea, was harvested from former sugarcane fields and rab lands and includes cerasee bush and blue vervain amongst others. Afternoon (bush) Tea Services with Annalee are offered daily for visitors.