January 28, 2011

your REAL wall from Lady L

Lady L was one of the earliest members of Mailart365 and her wall contains loads of mailart from the project as a result. On her wall at the moment is a piece by Elena, so she qualifies for a spot on my REAL wall.

January 26, 2011

26 January 2011

I took a day off yesterday from posting as it was my 31st birthday!

This week has been really hectic with post. I finally hit 100 postcards sent and received on postcrossing, and we may be seeing something exciting on their blog very soon, so watch that space.

2 postcrossings up and a wonderful piece from Martha Miller, her #1/365 Bird Brain. What a pleasure to get such an awesome piece from such an awesome artist.

One of the 2 Chinese new year (year of the rabbit this year) cards comes from Red Letter Day and the other from Dumpster Diver, who we haven’t seen for a while, so it’s great to see her back on the wall.

JJ sent 2 pieces our way this week, one for me and one for Elena, from her found objects series. This is brilliant, as the two marry up perfectly and create a diptych. A disguished one at that.

January 22, 2011

my REAL wall – 22 Jan 2011

my REAL wall – 22 Jan 2011, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

The latest post from Japanese mailartist Ryosuke Cohen dominates today’s REAL wall. Ryosuke has been sending out his Brain Cell pieces for many years. He collects rubber stamps from people, then periodically sends these stamped awesome pieces to most of the mailart community. This one, number 782 (I told you he’s been doing this a while didn’t I…) has contributions from at least 3 mailart365 members, Jennie Hinchcliff, Katerina N and Lady L, who I know has only recently taken up carving rubber.

New pieces are in from Lindsay and Postmuse too and I’ve moved your one around a little Louise, cos I know you always tune in to find out if your pieces are up!

January 17, 2011

my REAL wall – 17 Jan 2011

my REAL wall – 17 Jan 2011, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

I am a huge fan of Kiera Pannel’s work on mailart 365 and have been since her first This Is Art card came through the postbox of my REAL wall last year. Imagine my delight then, to be hosting 2 of her recent Film Alphabet series on one wall, A to Elena and E to Andy. Sly!

Today’s calendar entries are from Okami and an Aussie called Molly McGrath, who has added a REAL like button to the site! How cool is that!

Americans joining in today are Jennie "Red Letter Day" Hinchcliffe, Paula Smith and Mad Madge.

I’m not exactly sure how the Webbys card got there, but they have somehow got my address. Perhaps there’s someone over there watching my REAL wall. I’d like to think so.

Last but not least is the third of 12 pieces from my childhood friend Louise, who has seen my REAL wall and been inspired to start creating mailart, though not to quite the intense pace of mailart 365, one a month for 2011 which will be coming through my mailbox.

A quick REAL wall story for you all before I finish. As many of you know, I’m an e-learning advisor at a university. On Friday I attended a conference for pretty much all the e-learning professionals in the country.

There was a call for presentations, and I decided, as it was my first time there, to present my postcard thing as a way to integrate electronic networking and social interaction between students as proven by my university portfolios thing. Social interaction and keeping it REAL.

When I walked in there were way more people than I thought. 250 of them actually. All the e-learning professionals I know and respect and many I don’t. It was terrifying.

The speakers were chosen by random selector and every time the selector spun, I got really really nervous thinking "What the hell am I doing – presenting to a bunch of esteemed e-learning folk about sending postcards!"

Every time the spinner span, I drank half a bottle of beer to steel my nerves in case it fell on me to present my REAL portfolio project, and by the end, with only my name and about 5 others in the hat I was so drunk I couldn’t really remember what I was meant to be saying.

Luckily (or unlucily, I can’t really tell) my star didn’t shine that night and I stayed in a corner drunk instead of presenting my REAL wall to an unsuspecting group of educational technologists.

Probably for the best…

Thanks to everyone for keeping it REAL!

January 15, 2011

my REAL wall – 15 January 2011

Another bumper mailart week at my REAL towers, with a steady influx of mailart from fans and mailartists the world over.

This week I met my mailart mentor, the man who introduced me to mailart 2 years ago, Grthink, for the first time. The wonderful world of the internet huh!

He responded to my ad for mail on the London online noticeboard Gumtree then pointed me in the direction of postcrossing and IUOMA and I’ve never looked back.

He popped over after a tech show this week and stuck his piece up himself, which was a real thrill! Not only that, but it’s also a label piece, reminiscent of my recent label work, merging labels and his ghosts with some QVC cards he’s been trying to get rid of.

Check out the new stuff from IUOMA member Jen Staggs and from Keira Pannell (E for Egoyan)

Paula Smiths huge parcel of collage material arrived and I have some new post from a new mailartist I’ve not seen before called Janet Heritage. Hope to see more in future, it’s great, check out the metallic embossing.

Michalis Kotsaris has 2 pieces up on the wall today. It was really cool that one was addressed to me and one to Elena. I love Michalis Kotsaris’s style, so it’s a huge thrill to have 2 of his pieces up at once.

January 11, 2011

my REAL wall – 11 January 2010

A bumper day on my REAL inbox today, with a stonking 11 pieces coming in, so many I couldn’t fit them all on the wall at once!

Great to see 2 pieces from Ria and Camel (thanks Camel’s son!) and the first of the year from B, whose site The Snail Mailer goes from strength to strength. It’s great reading, and her choice to accept sponsorship last year on it has made it a vital read at least once a week as there are always competitions on there! B is a newcomer to the letter writing/mailart blogging sphere but I’m proud to be on her mailing list. She writes great letters!

Also on the wall is Missive Maven, a welcome return and a timely reminder that I need to send something out to Newport, RI – it’s been too long!

#1 from PamelaArt and Jumbo soup from FarStarr too. A lovely mail day!

January 10, 2011

Elenas favourites wall expands all over the house

Usually Elena picks her favourites and puts them up on our boiler cupboard. At the moment it is really the Postmuse show on there, and Elena has run out of space, so she’s decided to expand the favourites enterprise into the kitchen and on to the wall next to stairs.

Along with Camels leg tattoo and JJ’s daffodility 14 are some old favourites like Heleen21’s awesome photo pimpup and Jennlui’s neverendingly creative book, where you turn it over and over and find another surprise.

The fridge door has some ATCs from Elenas new contact, Lisa. These are slightly smaller than our usual postcards, but Lisa uses the size to her advantage packing in so much detail into the space.

Mim’s classic Wren has been up since it arrived too, and inspired some of Elenas recent work. It’s lovely to have so much inspiration coming through our door every day.

Some pieces I think will never come down from the boiler door are Okadascats knitted REAL wall banner, Cross Ryu’s Indian Inks (Girl in water bottle and Girl with a tree for hair) and of course Ubons portrait of Elena. These are sublime.

January 8, 2011

my REAL wall special edition : Student mailart show inspired by my REAL wall opens today!

Intro to student mailart show 1

As regular readers of the blog now, in October, I presented my first ever mailart lecture to a group of secondary art teaching students, and worked with their tutor to get them sending mailart to each other through the course of their placements in schools.

These days it’s not unusual for students to have to put together an electronic portfolio of their work, and we had initially planned to do this but when I happened to start talking about my REAL wall with the head of art and design education, we came up with a plan. REAL portfolios. Why would you let all this artistic talent go to waste, let’s send mailart instead! This seemed a much more appropriate (and fun) way to put one together over the course of the term, while inspiring and supporting each other. And it seemed a pretty odd bit of advice from the e-learning advisor too…

Student Mailart show Roehampton University January 2011

After a term in schools we wanted to put the pieces together that came out of this project and put on a show to showcase how the REAL portfolio project went.

It went brilliantly.

My creation

I cannot begin to get into words how exciting it was to see all the students looking through each others works and going “WOW!” and the feedback I got from the students was phenomenal. It seemed that all the effects that mailart has had on me, uplifting, supporting, inspiring, developing and so on had all happened to the students.


It was so great to hear that people would actually look forward to doing their weekly assignment, they loved to receive this little personal snippet from another student and know that while they were out in schools they were not alone in their experiences. It was great.

That’s quite enough chatter from me, but I wanted to include the blurb that accompanied this show, which was written by Jo Davies, the head of Art and Design Education at the university where I work

PGCE Secondary Art and Design 2010-11 Mail Art Exhibition

The PGCE Secondary Art and Desgin MailArt group has been set up in response or rather to counter the online networking communication that prevails in all workplaces and institutions of education and is inspired (ironically) by Andy Hoang, E learning advisor and artist, who is involved in a wider global mailart group himself.

The aim of the project is for students to keep in touch while out on school placements and boost each other’s morale through what can be a very isolating experience in a creative way. It was felt that this practical, ‘hands-on’ approach to communication and sharing of ideas and experiences through the PGCE course would suit Art and Design students better than a social networking or other online form of communication. The personal time and attention given to this craft based task may be seen as a reaction against the distance and virtual forms of communication increasingly used throughout the rest of the students’ training and a recognition of the need to acknowledge and support each other in a more meaningful and tangible way.

My creation

The PGCE Secondary Art and Design students sent one postcard to each of the rest of the group once a week throughout the Autumn term. A timetable was to make sure that everyone in the group makes and sends a postcard as well as receives one every week. The postcards are handmade or at the very least hand altered so that some art practice is going on as an antidote to all the other less inspiring paperwork they are filling in and include messages of support and inspiration to remind each other that they are ‘all in it together’!

The exercise will be repeated during the Spring and Summer terms and the long term aim is for students to carry this oninto their NQT year and beyond. The group already has an offshoot with two of the students running a mail art club sending postcards between their two placement schools, linked to a self portrait/identity project! The project has also ‘caught the eye’ of the National Society of Education in Art and Design who will be including the project in an article in the launch of their new magazine, AD.

So that seems to have gone well enough. Want to know what it looked like?


Barely 2 years after starting my REAL wall I seem to have started something I could never have dreamt of. I can hardly believe it.