October 16, 2010

My REAL wall goes to Kew gardens

Elena had to do a little work today. Luckily she works in Kew Gardens so I
decided to take your postcards out for a walk.

I put this lot up by myself, and it was a little windy. Just after I took
the pic, a massive gust of wind blew 2 of the postcards off and towards the
lake. By some fluke I managed to catch them both with one swipe of my arm
just as they flew off the fence, or it would have been curtains for
Feltypants and Katie R. Phew!

October 16, 2010

The old and the new

I got 2 gems in the post today and they couldn’t have come from 2 different people.

The first one was a small handmade postcard from Katie R, one of my students from my first mailart lecture, which I took earlier in the week. I was so pleased to receive some post from that class as it’s always so easy to say you’ve been inspired, but another thing altogether to prove it! This had me beaming from ear to ear.

In addition to sending me a card, Katie also joined IUOMA earlier this week and has been really active. I feel like a proud father to IUOMAs newest mailartist.

The other package came from the opposite end of the spectrum altogether, as it comes from Ruud Janssen, who is in fact the father of IUOMA, who set up the International Union of Mailartists and has run the site since. The first and last in one place at the same time.

Ruud kindly sent in a huge package of historical pieces from the mailart archives of TAM, his mailart project for me to use in my lecture.

Sadly it arrived a little late for the lecture that it was intended to provide for, but luckily…I’ve been invited to do another next Friday! Yay!

If you missed your chance to be in the first lecture and want your work to be seen by my next group of students, send it to the usual address…

my REAL wall
PO Box 63138
W14 4BR

September 30, 2010

September 29, 2010 – Mailart and me and some exciting mailart news!

I feel guilty that I still haven’t taken the time to do the Sudoku mailart, as I suspect that there is a very clever postcrossing reference number in there as the other side has LOTS of references to NL (The Netherlands) and there are 6 boxes to fill. I just don’t want to ruin the effect!

In addition to the new postcrossings on the wall (from Brazil and Turkey as well as the US and Finland) I have some great private swaps from Ammy (Singapore) and from a contributor in Bethlehem, PA.

Down at the bottom are two piece of mailart from regular mailart contacts @okadascat and @grthink, who are incidentally great follows on Twitter.

Grthink is the person who first introduced me to mailart after responding to an ad I put on gumtree a year ago. After pointing me to postcrossing, he then showed me the way to mailart and I found my way onto IUOMA

Since that fateful day nearly 2 years ago, I can honestly say that mailart has heavily changed my life. Whereas before I discovered mailart, I was a science and technology person with a passing interest in art, I can now say I am an artist. Mailart has done this.

For me, art lessons at school were always a nightmare. I couldn’t draw to save my life and I wasn’t raised in an artistic family where images and sounds were valued. I could look at something and say it was quite nice, and I still do, but no more than that.

When it came to critiquing or creating art, I could not do it. Throughout school I was hopeless at art and deemed by the teachers to be a non-starter. So I gave up on it and labelled myself a scientist. Heck, so much so I became a physics teacher!

When I found out about mailart, I decided to give it a go. Instead of having a cynical-eyed art teacher looking over my shoulder and creating works that were “just not good enough” suddenly I was creating works that were bringing a smile to peoples faces all over the world. They would show their appreciation by putting something cool back in the post to me and by posting on my blog. my REAL wall, along with IUOMA and you people out there made this happen.

I found in the REAL world, that REAL people don’t need perfect lines or subtle chiaroscuro or whatever the hell it was that my art teacher wanted me to do. They wanted pretty pictures in the morning made by another human being that expressed whatever I wanted to express at the time.

This was my liberation.

I still can’t paint. I still can’t draw. But I photograph and I rubber stamp and I do things on 6×4 inches that I wouldn’t dare on a larger canvas. On top of all that, I put together all your works and stick them on my wall all the time, thus discovering installation art in my own way. It’s not about books.

So now that I’ve discussed mailart and me, let’s get onto the big news for today.

As some of you know, I work in a university in the education department. Today I was chatting to the Art education department and conversation strayed onto my REAL wall (as it temds to do when you talk to me these days). I explained how mailart had changed my life and the head of Art Education was fascinated.

“I’ HAVE to sign you up to talk to our trainee art teachers about mailart” she said, and we went on to discuss how we could use my experience of discovering art in the classroom.

Yes it does seem a little odd, a physics teacher teaching art teachers how to teach art, but perhaps also it makes perfect sense. So on the 12th October, I’m going to teach a session entitled “Mailart – art in the global dimension” to a group of art teachers, starting with a mailart show of pieces received and will encourage them to send out mailart. We then intend to encourage mailart exchange within the group while they are going through the course with a view to putting on a show at the end of the year!

So this is a mailart call with a deadline to be received by 12th October in London. If you have been affected by mailart, please send a postcard to my REAL wall at the normal address,

my REAL wall
PO Box 63138
W14 4BR

with any design at all and I will put these up in my inaugural mailart lecture and try to convince them to send you one back!

September 13, 2010

my REAL wall – September 12th 2010

Some new postcrossings in from Finland and New Mexico with a little rearrangement thrown in for good measure. It’s been ages since I got a chance to send some post and I thought it would be a good idea to ease myself slowly back in with postcrossing before getting on with the serious mailart stuff. I sometimes feel I have to work myself up for these things!

September 13, 2010

my REAL wall – 6 September 2010

Some lovely pieces in this week from some of my regular contributors and a few mysteries in to keep things interesting too.

The beautiful green cat comes from REAL wall regular Okadascat. Being that she is such a great knitter, I sometimes forget she also does mailart so receiving her customary green envelope with spider and cat stamps on it I was pleasantly surprised to see a postcard emerge.

The cool manga-type one is promoting Singapore’s 2010 Youth Olympics, and comes from another REAl wall regular Ammy, who is a prolific Postcrosser.

The large one with the Sudokus and Eurythmics lyrics is a mystery. It comes from the Netherlands, so I suspected it was Jelmer, especially as it’s huge. Apparently it’s not though, and there is no return address, so I’m scratching my head. Anyone admit to this?

The tickets to the theatre were free from the Lyric in Hammersmith, on the local residents free tickets scheme. Bargain!

July 8, 2010

my REAL wall – 8 July 2010

my REAL wall – 8 July 2010, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

Finally, I get a little breathing space in amongst all the work and exhibitions I’ve been doing lately.

Here are the latest gems, including the long-awaited The Intercostal from Gareth.

As you can see, Elena is collecting vouchers to see Sex and the City. Not because she has any interest in the folm but cos it’s free. You need 4 vouchers for a ticket, but I keep slipping one in the bin when we get to 3. I can’t bear the thought of having to waste 90 minutes of my life watching that shit.

I’ll start sending post again this month, as I’ve got some time in my schedule, so watch your mailboxes and thanks to everyone for all your great post!

June 25, 2010

my REAL wall in Bielefeld, Germany at the start of carnival season

Summer is here at last for us Europeans and for the last 10 years or so that has meant only one thing.


I’ve worked with Yaa Asantewaa, a carnival arts group in London, voluntarily since I left university and have made and worn costumes in Notting Hill Carnival almost every year since 2002.

After the costumes are made and worn in London, we take the show on the road the year after and travel to Denmark, Germany and France to tour.

This year our carnival season kicked off in Germany at the Bielefeld carnival and me and Elena had a great time on the road at this relatively small street party.

We did manage to get some time to look around the pleasant little town after the carnival and found ourselves a nice statue to put your postcards up on right outside the town hall

June 1, 2010

my REAL wall does DIY fridge change

Now finally settled into our new home, me and Elena spent Bank Holiday Monday doing odd jobs and DIY around the house. One of the DIY jobs we had to do this weekend was to change the way that the door on the fridge opens.

When we moved in, the door was fixed to open on the left (hinges on the right) which was really inconvenient because this meant that you were squeezed in between the wall.

Changing the door around was riddled with all sorts of little puzzles and the final one was to move the handle from the left to the right of the door, for which we had to drill some holes.

This left us with two pretty glaring holes, which I suggested we fill with polyfila.

"Chuh!" exclaimed Elena "Let’s just stick a postcard on it"

So we got the fish out that was sent to us by Okadascat and stuck that over the holes. Elena was still not happy with how lonely the card looked on it’s own and insisted that we put more cards up, so here they are!

May 30, 2010

your REAL wall – Tracy from South Africa’s Postcrossing wall

I’ve never posted a picture of someone else’s REAL wall without a postcard from me on it before, but I feel I have to give an honourable mention to Tracy from South Africa, who writes at Tracy’s Topics.

A while ago, in one of my less busy phases I was searching for other people who may have created cool postcard walls on the web and intended to send out postcards to them to create REAL walls, for the your REAL wall section of the site. One of the coolest ideas I saw was on Tracy’s site. Using a pin board and some ribbon, she had created a postcard board that you could easily slip cards in and out of.

I knew I had to get a postcard on there!

However, as you may have noticed from my recently reduced output of REAL walls, I have been increasingly busy this year, what with being given a football team to run, paragliding courses, study, photography team and carnival commitments and a full time job and girlfriend to juggle (yes she is going to slap me silly when she reads that part) I haven’t got around to sending a card.

Still, Tracy has just posted the latest shot of her REAL wall, complete with all her other cards up at her blog. Check it out!

An honourable mention then, a new category created just for you Tracy!