November 11, 2009

my REAL wall – 11 November 2009 – Retro Edition

Another popular social networking site on the internet is often criticised for changing it’s layout and not offering it’s users any option to do anything about it. Not here on my REAL wall folks!

For those of you who haven’t liked the snazzy new upgrades (and what’s not to like about Okadascat‘s awesome knitted banner!), today’s wall will be a breath of old stale air and you’ll love it!

Today sees us return to the original slanted wall above the radiator, complete with my socks and underpants for those weirdos amongst you who enjoyed watching my weekly ritual of running out of clean undergarments.

To accompany the return to the retro feel of the wall, I decided to dig out some old favourites and take you for a trip down memory lane.

Who could possibly forget the "Is it a Banksy?" saga, or the very odd wrestler piece from Hugo Porcaro

Also in the fray are pieces from Mim, celci, Blair, as well as new pieces from Sam, Neil, Risa, AmyMC and Sheila

Hope all the older viewers enjoyed the trip down memory lane, and for those of you who haven’t seen the archives of my REAL wall yet, go take a look at them RIGHT NOW, then pick up a pen and paper and write to someone!

The status update refers to a lovely email I received last night.

In recent weeks, I have been told by a few art specialists that I am an "installation artist", which I graciously accept. I guess I never really viewed myself as an artist, but I suppose that my REAL wall can be considered a form of art in itself.

As such it seems that my REAL wall has caught the attention of the people who work at the Plains Art Museum in North Dakota and someone from there emailed me last night to say that they were going to look into working on their own REAL wall there, based on my REAL wall!

From being a chap who just wanted to get back in touch with REALity, to the giddy heights of artistic recognition by REAL artists and all in under a year, and it’s all thanks to you out there who keep sending me stuff! Thanks to everyone and keep watching your mailboxes!

November 11, 2009

my REAL wall 11 November 2009 (Just after midnight)


Elena’s sleeping and I’ve just crept out of bed to change the calendar. She is going to kill me for this!

Tonight’s midnight guilty pleasure features, from right to left, some older pieces from Rachel Freeman, which is made in some very interesting glassy material which I can’t quite place. A real treat for the senses I wish I could get the texture of this piece across in photo.

The bambi with spooky faces piece was an earlier post by Jennifer Zoellner, whose mailart output is prolific and was one of the earliest mailartists to send me stuff.

The elephant is the latest one from Elefantus, whose obsession with elephants really knows no bounds, and finally Dreaming of Tokyo is a pimped photo by the great Dumpsterdiversanonymous

Phew, I’ve managed to type all of that and not wake her up yet. Now I’m going to try and sneak back into bed without her noticing the date change…

November 10, 2009

my REAL wall – November 10, 2009 – YES! I remembered!

As I said yesterday, I have a terrible memory, and always forget to change the calendar date. Last night Elena wasn’t around but I still woke up worrying that she would beat me to the calendar, or that I would forget it.

But I know that Elena will be checking my REAL wall today and this is what she’ll see.


Today’s post is a Twitter-friend fest, with protest post from @neilgoodall and @feltypants and some old Twitter #mailart from @museumnerd (The Eyes have it 2) and @hardpressed (Altered States)

November 9, 2009

my REAL wall – 9 November 2009

Since buying this calendar from Tate modern last week, me and Elena have slowly become more and more competitive and sneaky about being the one to change the date.

Most days, she can rely on my terrible memory and usually just gets up before me and changes it before I even remember what day it is.

Tonight she’s working so I get the chance to change the date at midnight myself, if I remember to, else she’ll be around later to change it and laugh at my stupidness.

Today the calendar features 2 pieces from Rejin Leys, whose work I became aware of during the first Twitter #Mailart swap in June. From Rejin’s own site

"The postcards are produced, using a variety of media and evincing varied sensibilities. Each piece is a relief print with colored pencils, is approximately 4×6,” and they are part of my ongoing “Theories of Evolution and Connections” series."

The repeating icons and colours used, chickens, rice, internal organs, cockroaches and stars arranged in varying sizes and textures thrill me, and I love seeing how the characters interact with each other.

The one-off talking chicken council protest is superb, and although it will be a shame to have to send it away to the council, I am sure it will make an impression.

The two other pieces are from Marion Bockelmann and Postmuse. Marion’s Poe piece is a dark, dank collage, with eerie eyeballs staring out from the depths.

Postmuse is probably the owner of the world’s most amazing stationary collection and if there is one thing better than amazing stationary, it’s amazing stationary with a personal message on it, which is exactly what this is. Postmuse never fails to bring a smile to my face.

November 7, 2009

my REAL wall – 7 November 2009

With the Royal Mail strikes now off until Christmas, I think that the postmen are starting to get back into the swing of things, and the REAL wall mailbox has been bursting at the seams with awesome post.

My REAL wall today hosts works from as far afield as Australia, Sweden, Greece and The Netherlands, as well as old favourites from the US.

I’d like to welcome some new mailartists on to the wall too. Sherri Ayers, from IUOMA sent a breathtaking Intuitive Watercolour envelope with photos inside, which form Sherri’s photo album on the left side.

Marion Bockelmann sent an Edgar Allan Poe collage, which really brings a smile to my face as I love that era of writing, being a huge HP Lovecraft fan myself.

Jennifer Zoellner is an artist whose work I greatly admire. She has put together a massive body of mailart and most of it exceptional. Her piece, The Swinging child, harks back to more innocent times, when we all would sit on swings without a care in the world.

Protest post is all over the wall today, and again I send out my humblest thanks to all of you for sending in the support.

November 6, 2009

my REAL wall – Protest Tree

I got a bit of a shock call today from the editor at Westside magazine, who called to say that she was writing the article that is due for the December edition today!

It seems that my REAL wall vs Hammersmith council will indeed make the December paper and online editions, but the edit date was much sooner than I thought.

As a result, I decided to quickly try and get in the protest post from you that I have already received. Over my lunch break I ran outside to the rock garden and found an appropriate Bonsai sized tree and set about sticking all your protest mail to it.

This is the REAL wall I sent in, a protest tree with protest mail from RejinL, Mark B, Ruud Jansen, TicTac, Dumpsterdiversanonymous, and Okadascat.

Not sure what exactly what pictures the paper are going to run with, but I’m just happy I brought all your mail to work today. All these pieces and all the pieces I have seen online, like this awesome one from Lorraine Kwan and this piece of social commentary from Feltypants as well as the hilarious footballing one emailed from Neil G, are now in the editors hands in digital form, so let’s see what the magazine do in December!

But don’t stop sending in, as I’m going to push for even more press coverage, following the revelation that local councils are using actually anti-terrorist legislation to snoop on their residents! This may have some way left to go yet…

November 6, 2009

Accessible stylesheet edition

I’ve recently been thinking about accessibility standards on the web and realised that my REAL wall is perhaps not as accessible to the partially sighted as it could be.

Luckily, Jelmer has sent me a REALLY huge postcard, which came in a REALLY huge and REALLY cool envelope so I have gone and made today’s REAL wall in an accessible and readable way.

Whether this is completely W3 compliant is still open to debate but it’s definitely a nod in the right direction

November 5, 2009

my REAL wall – The protest papers

The first protest letters are in from mailartists on behalf of my REAL wall vs Hammersmith and Fulham bullies council and are so awesome that they have made the front page of The Yomiura Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper I found in my recycle bin.

These gems come from RejinL, with a perfectly executed chicken and rice piece about council fines, which is stylistically in keeping with her contributions for the first ever Twitter #mailart project, in which we met.

The beautiful butterfly piece came from the excellent Dumpsterdiversanonymous, yesterdays featured artist. The piece is called Malachite Butterfly on suburban sprawl and has a message on the back from Carroll of support for the battle with the council.

November 5, 2009

my REAL wall – my REAL desktop

Digital Schmigital – I decided to turn off everything electronic on my REAL desktop and get down to reading all your lovely post.

In the foreground is all the mail that came in last night, 9 pieces with 4 of them being protest mail for the my recent Pester my Council mailart call. The pieces are from some great mailartists, IUOMA founder Ruud Jansen (his post is pictured on top of the pile), Dumpsterdiversanonymous (yesterday’s featured artist), Ptrzia Tictac, who has supported my REAL wall from the start and the ever brilliant @RejinL. I’ll be putting all the protest post on a wall later, so for now just know that they are there!

In the background, REAL post comes from Jennlui, whose envelope took me about 2 days to open as it was so zealously sellotaped and so georgeous I didn’t dare open it!

Replacing the iPod in my Pig dock is a piece of REAL bark sent to me by SHMUEL, a new artist who I know nothing about. If you squint you can see that the bark shows a shroud that represents Rose Lee, a famous stripper! If you wish to come to my house and pay your respects this piece will obviously never be thrown away, so do feel free to make a pilgrimage.

The full size piece on my monitor is a bit of a mystery. I know it’s a lmited edition 23/26, but there’s not a great deal more information than that. It’s signed M.A. Blair from Canada, but other than that and an address there’s not a lot more info and no contact from the artist. Anyone have any ideas?

Just for trivia, this is my 100th upload to the flickr my REAL wall folder, which features all the shots of my REAL wall since I started to get it right!

November 4, 2009

my REAL wall – Elena invades the fridge

Before me and Elena met, some of my friends were very sceptical about the concept of my REAL wall. My brother even said "But what about if you meet a girl who uses facebook and she insists on you being on facebook? No girls will ever go out with you if you keep this silliness up!"

Me and Elena celebrated 7 months together last week and with every passing day I find she gets more enchanting.

As if to prove the doubters and my brother wrong, she is one of the few in the world who doesn’t have a facebook or twitter account. When she found out about my REAL wall, far from being repelled, she went and opened a postcrossing account and got hooked, and now she’s taken up Origami and quilling, which is an art that involves curling paper strips. Her very first quilled card is featured in the middle of this REAL wall.

This REAL wall is an Elena invasion and features only postcards sent to her on postcrossing, but on my fridge. The cheek of it! She loves it when she gets stuff addressed to her that comes in my postbox so do feel free to send her stuff via me, and she will gleefully laugh in my face about it.

Very soon, some of you who have sent me post may well be receiving some quilled cards or some origami, so keep your eyes on your postbox!