I was asked to do a mailart workshop with the Masters Art Education students, at the university that I work at, most of whom were teachers.
Before the session, the students put a selection of my mailart up on the wall, then I done a little talk about how the mailart got to me and what mailart is. I explained how using mailart in the classroom allowed students to create artwork without fear of criticism from those around them.
The students were asked to take a postcard down from the wall that appealed to them, then to create their own piece of mailart which they were to send back. This allowed students to create their first piece of mailart, and illustrated that mailart was art without a context of the artist.
After they created their artworks, the students presented their art to the rest of the class, explaining why they had chosen the pieces they did and explained their responses.
As an extension to this lesson, the students were asked to make a piece of mailart about themselves. This is to be sent to their tutor, without their name on it. The idea is to allow them total freedom of expression. The tutor will then put up their received artwork in the next lesson and the students will be able to view the shows without revealing their identity.
Personally, I didn’t like presenting artwork at school in front of my peers. The idea of remaining anonymous but being able to listen to peoples comments on my artwork without them knowing that I made it would have made me much more open to listening. The commentary that I expect to come out would be about the art and not about me as a person.
I look forward to seeing what the students produce and will post the results up here when I get the chance (and if I get the consent)