CLUSTER is a functional, limited edition sculpture in the shape of three ceramic cups nested together. Commissioned as a component of SMASH, the Gardiner Museum's annual art party, June 26, 2019.

When ordering drinks at the bar, guests could ask for theirs to served in one of the sculpture's individual compartments. When all three cups were filled, (ideally with drinks ordered by three strangers) the newly-formed trio could cluster together, introduce themselves and forge new connections.

Drinking from one compartment without spilling from the others is a challenge that requires communication, coordination and teamwork, akin to a corporate teambuilding activity, albeit a boozy one.

The CLUSTER cups were hand fabricated by Millbrook Ontario-based ceramicist Angelo di Petta. Each piece features a unique combination of colours on the inside, and is finished with a terra sigillata outside, reminiscent of many pieces in the Gardiner Museum collection. The project can be seen as a contemporary counterpart to the three-part "fuddling cup" on display on the museum's ground floor.

This year's SMASH party was art directed by RBC Senior Curator Corrie Jackson around the theme of "Nourishing" and hosted by the Gardiner Museum Young Patron Circle. The event also featured new commissioned work by Diana Lynn VanderMeulen and Ness Lee.

Guests drinking from their section of the Cluster cup, trying not to spill from the other compartments.
Thanks to Angelo di Petta, Alice Stratford-Kurus, Sequoia Miller, Corrie Jackson.