Teatime and Tide started as a collaboration between artist/photographer Nicholas Godsell and artist/film maker Al Reffell.

In August 2015 Teatime and Tide took part in a seminal residency at the People United's Hut 136 . The resulting short film documenting their experiences and the work they produced has been heralded by their peers as a key work in the collaborations development.

Both artists have established practices in digital media and visual arts, working independently as practitioners.  They both have a keen interest in marrying visual arts and digital media in some way, as these tend to be very separate practices, and to bring their own individual practices together working around a series of themes; a double collaboration both of media and of creativity.

Here are the artists' reflections on their time at Hut 136:

“With passing of time comes transition - always - high tide to low - we are bounded to this passage of time, connected to this transitioning environment - working at ‘teatime’ for one week - day transitioning to night - twilight time - we are exploring these and other transitional spaces through mark making, staying with process, abandoning product, being curious about whatever shows up on the paper - investigation….and recording this process with time-lapse photography - marking paper, marking time.”

- Al Reffell

“Returning to the basics; the simple art of mark-making. A rekindled grounding in something familiar, yet slightly different. A new opportunity; working alongside another, taking our leads from one another. Engaging with the work, losing time, losing ourselves. Temporary inhabitants of a creative cave; a hut on the beach. The sea is our music, the situation our inspiration. Recording and documenting our successes and our mistakes, both large and small, in equal measure. Sharing a space, sharing a canvas, sharing an inquiry, sharing an experience.

- Nicholas Godsell

 

A follow-up residency at Hut 136 by Teatime and Tide occured in November 2015 to further develop these themes and explore additional materials.

Welcomed on our first evening by a luminous full moon this residency was formed and informed by darkness by light by playing in the dark in all senses as we experimented…

With lights, LEDs, torches, tealights, teacups, candles, batteries, more batteries, lights on sticks, sticks and twigs, lights on hoops, in tubes, up sleeves, rotating motors, pins, tacks, tape, hooks, screws, hanging sheets suspended paper cut-outs, spinning fire, blowing ink and water, sparklers, (smoke!) and mirrors…

With movement, stillness, objects, attachment, non-attachment! (literally as well as metaphysically, as things fell down, off, apart..) we ran, spun, connected, disconnected, pressed the shutter, pressed record, sometimes blindly, sometimes with precision and huddled round the screen expectantly for playback – sometimes with delight and surprise as something magic occurred...

“I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.” – Emily Bronte

This poem kept circling my mind during the editing process as an increasingly dreamlike sequence of vignettes drifted, circled and unfolded across the timeline, suspended moments, taking on a strange tale of their own…

‘LED’ on a journey through lightplay through darkplay on a November beach in a remembered beachhut – a perfect journey into midwinter – thank you again Hut 136 and People United

- Al Reffell

 

Beneath the cold blanket of autumnal night,
Stuffed thick with intention and unknowing,
The engagement begins;
A dialogue between light and dark,
An empty hut filled with nothing but brilliance,
Which bursts through the seams,
Dances around the landscape,
And sprints to the sea before disseminating across the surface of the water,
Like a night swimmer.

Shadows and lights play and bicker,
And flicker,
Chasing each other around like small children;
Like a puppy chasing but never quite catching its tail,
We play,Lighting spaces;
Candles, strobing, flickering, shining,
Burning ghosts into our eyes,
Curbing our night vision,
Until the blindness discloses a revelation;
The ghosts, the peripheral vignettes themselves,
Etched onto the inside of our eyelids and retinal cones…

- Nicholas Godsell

 

In September 2016 Nicholas Godsell took up a solo residency at Hut 136 under the Teatime and Tide flag...

 

"My September residency as Teatime and Tide at People United’s BeachHut 136 was both an exciting and a daunting prospect. As my first solo residency I had a headful of ideas of what I wanted to do, but, as it transpires, I actually achieved very few of them.

Being in the space at differing times of the day I found myself spending more time thinking and daydreaming about what I was going to produce, than actually making anything; a short time-lapse here, an installation there, but mostly I was preoccupied with how it felt to be there, in that moment."

 

 

"I spent hours watching the world go by, recording time in pictures and words, not really knowing what I was going to do with any of it, if anything at all. I was just enjoying experiencing the space, the sights and the sounds and, on occasion, the people.

As my residency came to an end I looked at the collection of film and poetry and prose and photographs I had produced and my heart sank, as I couldn’t see anything of value in any of it. I have spent the last nine months piecing the material together, continuing my reflecting and experimenting back in the studio and have finally realised that I had something there all along, I just had to sweep away all the complex ideas I had, that were clouding the simplicity of what the residency was about; just being in that space."

- Nicholas Godsell