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!


  1. What a fab package! I particularly like the asemic writing. Drawing a line around groups of letters and photocopying? Something like that. In any case, so ingenuous!

  2. I was so pleased it arrived in time for the show. Interested people got me pointing out some of the wonders of different mail artists' approaches. Obviously you got some air time, Marie! It's funny how it feels important to share what people send me. I know some people see it as a correspondence between two people but for me it's all about sharing.

  3. I hope the show was a huge success, Rebecca! No doubt it was. People do not always realise how much work it is to have everything sit there perfectly in place. As we say here, otsukare sama deshita! You deserve it.

  4. What a brilliant blog and FAT mail art!!! Love it!
    And then I clicked on the supersized photos...that last one! Marie's, Meeah's and my work all hanging out together, so sweet to see!!! Wow, thanks Rebecca!