my REAL wall has always been about connecting to people and since it began I’ve loved not just seeing what comes through the postbox but also what people bring me. It’s been great seeing how creative my friends are, and this one made me laugh.
Me and Elena were out with L-plate Big Cheese, who put together the phenomenally successful “Tetris Tetris Everywhere” gallery on flickr. I’ve known L-plate since we met in Romania in 2004 and she’s a huge fan of my REAL wall. Having read that Elena was learning quiLLing on my twitter feed, she decided to make Elena a little present, adapted from a quit smoking campaign mug.
However, as quiLLing is not a particularly well-known art, L-plate had assumed that Elena was into quiLTing and put one of her custom L-plates on the mug, so that it now reads “Serious about quiLTing?”. D’oh. Quitting. Quilting. Quilling. Chuh!
Keep your eyes on your postboxes for some of Elena’s quilling, as she is on a roll at the moment. And not a quilt or a cigarette in sight.
Also on the table today are a postcrossing from the US and a letter of thanks from Katie R, who has started to get her pupils into mailart at school.
In the background is a cheque from British Gas, which nearly ends the British Gas Saga. After more than 2 months they finally put back our gas meter and sent us a bouquet of flowers and possibly a pair of tickets to a west end show by means of apology, as well as this cheque, which compensates some of the costs that we had to waste. I’ll keep the grumbles aside though, as we now have gas and some compensation, so we can say that this saga is closed at last.
As a former teacher, I love to see students getting involved in mailart, and lately I’ve been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of some of the mailart produced.
Todays posts on the REAL wall come totally from schools, one in the UK and one in Indiana in the US.
The one from Indiana is in the centre, a mailart call called “Where do you belong?” To contribute to this, write to
c/o Mandy Jared
Zionsville High School
1000 Mulberry Street
All of the pieces on the outside are the fruits of my mailart lecture a while back. One of the student art teachers who attended is now working at a school called Glenthorne, and has taken up mailart as a way to get the students into art.
I have a confession to make about Glenthorne. I was very surprised to find a bunch of post from Glenthorne in my postbox, as I myself taught in that school 6 years ago in exactly the same circumstances! When I was training to be a physics teacher, Glenthorne was the first school I was sent to and I have a lot of love for the place, so thanks to all of the students there who sentn mailart my way – I think it’s great!
A while ago, someone called Ann contacted me about putting up her mailart call on my REAL wall and I agreed to do so as it sounded intriguing.
Ann is part of a photography class is Zionsville, Indiana in the USA and as part of their course they have decided to make and send out their own postcards and they asked me to post their poster for their mailart call on my REAL wall, which I will do.
The mailart call theme is “Where do you belong?” (in society, the world, your role, where you would like to live).
To contribute, send your interpretation to
c/o Mandy Jared
Zionsville High School
1000 Mulberry Street
Good luck with that and I’ll be sending something your way soon!
All the cards on todays wall are from REAL wall regulars, 3 of whom have only caught my attention in the last 3 or 4 months.
Mim, whose card on the right hand side, is a mailart and post fanatic from Richmond, who gave me some great ideas when I was putting my mailart lectures together. She’s been lecturing on the subject of mailart for a while and is someone really good to know if you are thinking of talking about mailart.
The remaining mailartists, Dewi and B on the left hand side and Valentine Mark Herman in the middle, came to my attention in the last few months.
Dewi was highly praised in the first mailart lecture by the students who were very impressed by his consistent and subtle artwork, which I admit passed me by the first time. On having this artwork pointed out to me, I took a closer look and realised it was actually damn good. Too subtle for me the first time!
B writes words, so I usually bring her stuff with me on the bus to work. This time the front of the postcard is a collage of veterinary stickers that were destined for the dumpster. I personally rather liked the effect, although B thought it could have been better. Enclosed in the envelope were also a bunch of photos, that I will be sending off to people for pimping soon and will put them up when they come back. If you want them send me an email or comment and I’ll send them to you for pimping!
Valentine Mark Hermann is one of the most active mailartists on the scene at the moment and always makes me laugh. This time his work shows a scary tyrannosaurus who has an even scarier big brother. Yikes!
On our trip to Dublin it rained every single day, so opportunities to stick your cards on walls were scarce.
It just so happened that on the day we walked past James Joyce’s house on the way to the Lansdowne stadium, the rain stopped for a moment and I decided that this was a sign.
Whipping out your postcards and some blu-tac, me and Elena rushed in to post your cards hastily on James Joyces front door.
This was the first time we saw James Joyces house, as after this we kept noticing plaques around the city saying "James Joyce lived here from xxxx to xxxx"
With all that moving around, it’s little wonder that he ended up writing a homage to the Odyssey
It’s been a while since the last time that your postcards got me in trouble, but this one got me a telling off from a security guard.
Me and Elena have just spent the week in Dublin, Southern Irelands capital, where we’ve just been recharging our batteries and taking your postcards for a walk.
In the corridor of the gallery, they had set up a few tables and chairs with crayons and A4 paper. Being on an artistic bender at the moment, I decided I had to draw, and knocked out that pic on the left.
Deciding to leave it there, I pinned it to the display and thought it would look a whole lot better with a load of your postcards, but couldn’t bring myself to remove all the great stuff by the kids, hence why your postcards are barely visible!
Anyway, the telling off came when I got my camera out to photograph the scene. Just as I took the shot, a security guard came over and said, "No photography allowed in the building" and looked at me sternly.
Anyone would think I was trying to take a picture of the Caravaggio that they have on display and not crayon drawings by under-10s!
Anyway, I left feeling very pleased with myself after having created this piece, until Elena said "Maybe you should have signed that ‘By Andy, aged 30’ to give it a little perspective against the other pieces there"
She knows how to put me in my place!
At the moment, Elena and I are going on a lot of walks through the autumnal countryside of southern Britain in our weekends.
Most of the time we leave the house, we take a bunch of postcards with us too, so that they can share the view. After all, England has some of the most wonderful countryside.
Today we walked from Woldingham to Oxted in Surrey, on one of the most beautiful routes we’ve ever walked. The autumn leaves blazed deep red lining the wood fllor and this route was puncuated at intervals with tranquil and beautiful ponds which took our breath away.
Unfortunately for you, I forgot to pack my trusty blu-tac, which would have allowed me to stick your postcards on trees and that sort of thing, so you’ll have to miss all these sights and content yourself with a humorous roadsign that we saw instead, which was about the only place I could safely park your postcards.
Sorry about that folks!
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