Anxiety and Escapism 1994


The South Bank Centre invited Tea to take a new look at the 1930s as part of their Towards the Millennium Festival. The exhibition brought together many diverse perceptions of the era including archive photographs, sound recordings of voices of authority alongside the opinions of ‘the man in the street’ collected by Mass Observation. Visitors to the exhibition were invited to add their own perceptions - whether they were alive in the 30s or not. After the exhibition these were compiled into boxed archives that were widely distributed.                        


Photos Paul Grundy


“As the archive recordings play you pick your way among cuttings, the photos and personal responses, all of them mounted in transparent plastic. These are hung between the white pillars at the back of the Festival Hall Foyer and laid out in rectangular lines so that you can always see not only the section you are in but through to the rest of the show. The effect I found oddly mysterious, I was never sure where to go next. It’s a kind of see-through maze, if you can imagine such a thing!”


Paul Allen Presenter, Kaleidoscope BBC Radio 4


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