Thursday, December 26, 2013

Zine from Aristide 3108

Was surprised to receive a zine from Aristide 3108.  Usually I get small handmade envelopes with cerebral, tactile imagery and words and an ATC.  This wonderful collaboration interests and fascinates me!  I wish I could fully translate the language, as I suspect I am missing some of the nuance. As ever, Aristide's haptic and moveable contribution is in part a card!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Matt Stolte - Add and Pass

Richard Baudet - Marseille

Delighted to receive my first piece of mailart from Richard Baudet (Marseille). Richard found my address on IUOMA and asks me what kind of mail art I like.

What I especially like about Richard's envelope and contents is the way he uses a limited palette and text to create his mood and there is  feeling of considered effortlessness. I appreciate the rhythm of the envelope.

And then inside there is vibrance, energy and colour - great juxtaposition!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sam Hollis - Notes on an exhibition: cutting corners

Sam is a young (under twenty) mail artist who already has a strong, confident voice. This is my first piece from him and I am wowed!  Thank you Sam, this is a beauty. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New postcards from Daniel De Culla

Not sure if Daniel intended these for the Memories are Made of This call but he didn't specifically say, so I have decided to blog them here.  Daniel's charismatic drawings are full of stories.  Wondering if there was more I should know, I journeyed to his IUOMA page where I enjoyed looking at what looks like performance art portraits.  

I did notice that Daniel likes insects and wildlife.  The New Swimming characters seem to be playing a dangerous game.  I looked up Rosemary Menniger and discovered that there was a Rosemary Menniger of note who was the adopted daughter of Karl Augustus Menninger, psychiatrist, but I have no idea if that is relevant - to me the imagery suggests dreams. 

At the Bday of Bastards I notice how dysfunctional society seems to be; but Daniel's birthday makes me smile anyway.  Thank you! 

Ronnie Oliveras disc-collage

This beautiful visual poetry from Ronnie has me taken in, thinking that this astronomy of cassette building could actually work.  The cuisinare rod buildings add clout to the anecdote. I suspect that it's like one of those beautiful cookbooks that lures you into a recipe that doesn't actually puff the pastry or apple the flan quite right. A really satisfying read anyway. Thank you Ronnie!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Meeah gets me to think like an writer and artist

You can tell from looking at Meeah's mail art that she can tell a story. Her characters have character, they are carefully observed.  You want to know them.  They have something to say and we want to listen.

Meeah's big fat envelope begins with a card made out of water colour paper that she has drawn and use water colour (pencils, I think) to initiate me to her way of seeing.  Her first character is WG Sebald, a German who lived his later years in Norfolk England. Meeah has him in Brooklyn.  Did she know him? Sebald asks a question, 'What is it that undoes a writer?' I want to know… Meeah illicits the writer in all of us and her imagery and words work together to make me attend, know more and see deeper.  I love the variety of marks that Meeah makes.  This all must have taken a very long time! 

Because there is so much, and because I am listening to a storm howling around my head, at first I added the images in a somewhat random way.  Then I realised I needed them to flow in the methodical way Meeah intended. Nothing about Meeah's package feels random, although it also feels intuitive and fresh. Her envelope above points at her humour, her ability to easily cross barriers between genres.
 Meeah uses shapes so beautifully. At the moment UK stamps have dinosaurs bursting out of the stamp, in curves over rectangles.  Meeah has played with this idea in these pages 
Like Ingres, she makes us believe arms can really do that. Is this Meeah? I hope it is.  She looks so wise, so curious and intense. Or is this some literary figure, or painting sensation I ought to know?
With each page another surprise; this time a crossword quilt! On the back Meeah's brand of asemics, bubble asemics? Are these the words we can not find? Is that what undoes a writer?

 Is this tag a clue about some of the imagery? I don't see faces being 'wiped away' so much as morphing into new characters

Or is Meeah saying that too many words, verbosity, is the scourge or the writer… the blankness on the other side, with it's haptic gesso, echoes this sentiment, for me.

Next Meeah delights with a little book of hodge podge.  

We find the faceless woman encircled by some big words  'earthquake, Agent, indepe, relevant, this planet, exist...'

This woman (Muriel Spark?) with bachelors on her chin tells me to, 'be on the alert to recognise your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur.  You must then live it to the full.' Excellent advice for someone like me who has had to re-invent herself in countries. I think Meeah may be responding to the card I sent her!
Jack Gilbert's contribution to hodge podge is,' I believe that icarus was not falling as he fell but came to the end of his triumph.' and 'anything worth doing is worth doing badly.' reminds me of Philip Roth in American Pastoral, '“The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It's getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That's how we know we're alive: we're wrong.” 

Will Barnet has more wisdom, especially for those of us with a dose of imposter syndrome, “You have to believe in what you’re doing. In the long run, you have to feel that what you’re doing, regardless of the trends, will have a lasting quality.” 
And Anais Nin reminds us of what it feels like when you are stuck, 
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” Lovely images, colours and disappearing words in this passage!

Meeah included a beautiful digital collage Sunmaid Raisins.  There is a quality in it that reminds me of things at Minxus Lynxus Take a look and see what I mean. 
The fun and depth of the contents of Meeah's wonderful mail art are echoed in quintessential Meeah style on the other side of her envelope! And it all arrived in time to be displayed in the exhibit in Hadleigh, as seen looking in.  Thank you Meeah!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Handmade with love and humour - by Carina

 Finding the right image for an envelope is a skill that Carina definately has. Having never met, I wonder at her power to elicit an emotional response in a way that feels like not even trying. Just look at that young woman, yearning in her tropical paradise, so full of determination.  Does she know that is me in my past?  Does she know that I met the man of my dreams in just such a place?

Cutting tape is a pain.  But Carina cares enough to do it repeatedly and with such care, but not too much care… Boo is there to remind me that she's enjoying this process of wrapping her book and imagining my response!
THOSE XXXX what a loving touch and look at the way the green and the pink sing! Flip over the packet and you see where Carina got the idea from, or maybe she found the image after the idea.  Fabulous repetition of form, so much thought for someone she's never met!
You mail artists are changing me… I find myself wanting to use Carina's palette.  Just because you can't wear the colour doesn't mean it isn't perfect.
What Love is a poignant story of desire, longing, maybe waiting and possibly friendship. It's made from old magazines glued together to create a seemless history, complete with the patina of time.
I hate to put What Love away in its sleeve but it feels like the magic will grow if it goes back, sending lots of hope, joy, humour for all those people still looking.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

PLAY WITH PHOTOGRAPHY - A spitfire view from Marie Wintzer

In this case, for me, Marie introduces her theme with her envelope. I am immediately primed for mapping the skies.  I feel myself checking the instrument panel in anticipation, of watching the world turn to matchoook houses with postage stamp fields.

(I see) topography of a city from high. Windows on the world. A transept of space. 
I suspect these pictures are taken from a tower block, vertical words fashioned to interupt the view.  I wonder if words do that, distract us from being in a space.  Here they make me feel dizzy with the height. I am under the sky, looking out and fumbling with controls.
The broken geometry of a vista, our memories, traces of our lives imprinted on what we see.
I love the shapes and the colours, quilts of light.

Something framed that has faded, becomes indecipherable to those who weren't there. I turn them over, hang them up, read the story.  Long for the freedom of the skies, alongside Marie. Marie writes that perhaps 'cloth is the oppostie of crumpled paper?' I agree that the linen muffles, or maybe tempers the music of these pieces in a way that makes them ache to speak.

Five or six years ago I bought the piece below from an artist who was a resident at the Heliker Lahotan Foundation (on Cranberry Island); for me, Marie's piece conjures up a similar sound, a similar mood. For a moment I am an explorer or maybe a spy and this is my landscape.  Beautiful!