May 26, 2012

my REAL wall in Kent part 2

I really liked this little park we went walking in. They had these cool little wooden insects and animals everywhere and lovely scenery. It all made for a very appropriate backdrop for displaying some of the work from awesome mailartists that I’ve got for you. What a treat!

On the wall today we welcome back Dumpsterdiversanonymous, who is not only one of my all time favourite collage artists but also carves a MEAN rubber stamp. She sent me this New Years card at the start of the Chinese New Year of the Dragon. Next to her you can see a lovely collage from Ruckus, who I would dearly love to see more of in my postbox.

Heleen de Vaan from Holland is the next one along the leg and the green one is the 1001st piece (of 365) from Katerina Nikoltsou, who is possibly the most prolific mailartist around at the moment. Now that #1001 is in, she’s going to stop numbering, but I have no doubt that she’ll keep creating en masse.

Possibly the only person I know who can keep up with this rate of art production is Mim4art, who is possibly mine and Elena’s best friend on the mailart scene. We’ve met twice, once on our wedding, when her and Chuck came to visit, then again in Paris when we went to visit them. She’s lovely and we can’t wait to pop over to Richmond, Virginia to see her.

Finally on the wall we have a piece by Kiera Pannell, who seems to have endless talents. Not only is she an awesome collage and drawing artist she was also a maths teacher too. Dewi told me when we met (he came over to stay in our house) she’s possibly the coolest person he’s ever met. I don’t doubt that.

Thanks to everyone for all the awesome post as ever. 🙂 Our postbox is always happy over here

May 13, 2012

my REAL wall in Kent part 1

I haven’t posted up a REAL wall for months and the pile of incoming mail is about 3 inches high so this weekend, when Elena took me out, we made sure to pack all the carryable post into the bag and our travelling blu-tac and kept our eyes open for nice public wall space.

As we were walking in the countryside, there weren’t that many buildings, so we found some wooden sculptures to stick your postcards to.

All of these postcards are from members of the Mailart 365 group.

March 26, 2012

British Summer Time arrives on my REAL wall 2012

I’m not great with winter and this winter seems o have dragged on right the way through spring. not really sure that my little Vietnamese body is really built for this sort of thing.

Today the clocks finally went forward and I dared to venture outside, where I put up the first outdoor REAL wall since getting here to Kingston. And what a wall it is!

If you look closely enough you’ll see contributions from some established mailart legends like JJAltheway, with her final piece from mailart 365! What an adventure it’s been JJ! I too feel kinda gutted that you’re not posting everyday and I can only imagine the sense of emptiness (I’m still stuck on 140/365) There’s a Valentines day card from Laura Podob and Mrs Thundercat appears on there all the way from Holland too.

As well as the established mailartists, there is also one piece I’m REALLY proud of, and that’s the very first appearance of a new mailartist called Stripeygoose, who is now on #25/365 over at mailart 365. The reason I’m really proud of this particular artist is because I work with her and we’ve worked together on all sorts of projects. There’s her work in the bottom right had corner, reminiscing of Wimbledons Big Draw. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that Stripeygoose had signed up for MA365, and am still reeling that, 3 years on my REAL wall still inspires new artists to make and send post!

The sun is shining in Kingston and I’m smiling broadly 😀

March 3, 2012

my REAL wall presents…Using Postcards on the Art Education PGCE at TMRoehampton

I had a hand in putting together the first Teachmeet at Roehampton, the university where I work and decided that doing the tech bits and the organising wasn’t enough work for me, so decided to present 2 presentations too. One of the presentations was on the use of postcards on the secondary art PGCE (teacher training course) last year.

The original post, with video and powerpoint presentation slides is up on the teachmeet site at (yes I put this up too – can’t get enough of all that lovely work)

I mainly yabber on about how postcards are a modern day alternative to all that electronic noise our children are used to these days. As much as I love the internet, I do still strongly believe that REAL tangible communications are key to a happy life as humans

March 3, 2012

2012 MA Art Education presentation REAL wall


For the second year running I was asked to run a talk to the MA Art Education students at my university on mailart in education. For me this is a hugely exciting lecture that I do as a favour to the art education lecturers, who I get on very well with.

This years cohort were a lovely bunch of girls who were really interested to hear about how mailart changed me from physics teacher to artist, and from artist to postcard swap coordinator. In short mailart has changed my life and I’m not afraid to admit it!

After talking at length about my REAL wall, mailart 365 and schoolswaps, the students were let loose to create their own mailart and they took to it like fish to water. In about an hour we had at least 2 pieces each ready to be let loose into the world.

All in a days work at my REAL wall 🙂

March 3, 2012

LOPZA – Dutch variant mailart meme

It seems I was wrong and actually the chocolate wasn’t supposed to be rearranged to read ZALOP after all, but the Dutch variant LOPZA. Yikes! These mailart memes are a minefield!

Thanks to Hope, Edie S, Jennifer Suedehead, Miss Thundercat, Kokabella and all the other wonderful artists who live on this wall!

Think I’ll eat all the chocolate now…

March 3, 2012

Chocolate ZALOP

Now back from Paris, I tried again to rearrange the chocolate from Heleen de Vaan and came to this stunning realisation.


Yes mailartists it was indeed ZALOP in disguise. If you managed to guess this earlier, you are eligible for a piece of chocolate fromt he box, which I shall send naked in the mail. If you want a piece leave a comment below, but I cannot be held responsible if you fall ill after eating a piece of chocolate that has been handled by 100+ postal workers.

February 28, 2012

my REAL wall in the Rue de Sevigne, Paris

What better place to take a picture of a load of post than in the Rue de Sevigne in Paris.

Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de Sévigné (5 February 1626 – 17 April 1696) was a French aristocrat, remembered for her letter-writing. Most of her letters, celebrated for their wit and vividness, were addressed to her daughter.

my REAL wall in the Rue de Sevigne, Paris
Me, Mim and Elena came to her street 400 years later and I wondered whether my REAL wall will be remembered with such fondness in 400 years.

Who knows…

February 21, 2012

my REAL wall at the Centre Pompidou in Paris

my REAL wall at the Centre Pompidou in Paris

This weekend me and Elena went to Paris. I imagine that most of you reading would be thinking that that’s a lovely thing for me to do on the weekend after Valentines day, and yes I guess that as newlywed husband and wife it was pretty nice, but the truth is, we went for something entirely different than romance.

We went for postcards.

Yes, hard as it may seem to believe, this weekend we went to Paris to meet Mim and her husband Chuck, who have been living in Paris for the last 2 months. Mim is a Mailart365 artist, and one of the first past the line, and is also a good friend from the early days of my REAL wall. We’ve been mailing for more than 3 years so it’s like meeting an old friend.

Also on the trip with us was Positively Postal, who helped put these postcards up on a windy Saturday afternoon in Paris.

The other lovely mailartist we met was the lovely and prolific Dean Marks, who is Paris-based, and works mainly with barcodes. And everything else he can get his hands on.

We spent Saturday discovering Paris and Sunday making mailart together and I finally got to make REAL walls with other mailartists. It was great!

A wonderful time was had by all, and it just goes to show that meeting for REAL and putting stuff on REAL walls will always beast that virtual rubbish!

Want to see those postcards a little closer? Check out the gallery below…