Artist Talk : The Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society
As part of the Correspondence Collective Restriction Exhibiton, this is the fourth in a series of Artist Talks, exploring the lives and practice of artists who use mail art within their work.
The Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society
Established by Dinah Johnson, The Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society is a way to bring together people who love to write and receive handwritten letters, and to stop them from becoming a lost art. The hope is that handwritten letters will go on forever and ever. And if the Society encourages just one person to write a letter to a friend or relative or someone famous, it will be a triumph! There has been a boom of people joining the society since March 2020 and its founder Dinah Johnson, will be joining us in this talk to explore that interest.
The aims of the society are:
- To inspire people to write handwritten letters to each other.
- To unite letter writers in a bid to boldly cling on to the dying art of writing letters.
- To put the fun and meaning back into writing letters.
- To value the beauty of an individual’s handwriting.
- To encourage anyone and everyone to put pen to paper and send a letter to someone special.
- To gather together everything to do with handwritten letters in one place.
The Correspondence Collective
The Correspondence Collective started as an idea from a postcard-exchange took place between between two artists at the start of lockdown in March 2020; as a way of staying in touch and acknowledging the joy of receiving items in the post.
This swiftly evolved into a growing collection of postal art collaborations. After a couple of months we invited fellow artists to join this creative conversation and so the ‘Correspondence Collective‘ was formed.
Their aim is to keep this growing group of creatives, both local and global, connected through mail art, exhibitions, podcasts and workshops, with the Open call for miniature pieces of artwork inspired by ‘Restriction’ being its first.
The project is led by artist Amanda Lynch in partnership with Clayhill Arts, Somerset and has been funded by Arts Council England
We have a fantastic accommodation offer onsite, and would recommend staying here for the fully immersive Clayhill experience. All our accommodation is reserved for the students for the duration of the course and you will have a bedroom of your own. Our rooms have been converted from a series of old cattle sheds and from an old milking parlour and retain characterful features such as exposed wooden roof timbers and stone walls. Each bedroom has its own tea and coffee making facilities and outdoor seating area.
We also have an onsite laundry should you need to use these facilities during your stay with us. WIFI is available throughout the complex, heating and hot water is supplied by biomass technology, electricity by solar technology and all of the water around the site is fed by a natural spring.
Accommodation is offered at £80/night. If you would like to make your stay here more comfortable, you can also buy single additional nights before or after the course. (Please note - Any additional nights before will include catering in the evenings, and additional nights after will include an evening meal and breakfast the following morning)
All courses at Clayhill Arts are fully catered, and our locally-sourced food is included in the price of your course ticket. If you do choose to stay with us a bespoke evening meal as well as breakfast and lunch will also be provided.
Please note - we do not have an alcohol license but you may bring alcohol onto the premises for your own consumption and to share with the group if you wish.
To read more about our food offering, follow this link. About our catering
We have also set up a payment plan so that you can spread the cost of the sessions over the next 4 months. You will find the option for doing this as you enter the checkout page.
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Working with Deborah and Michael was such a pleasure. They understood the project from the beginning, what the needs of the makers and our audiences would be, and acted as thoughtful ambassadors for the project when we were not able to be there. Every aspect of the exhibition and events was facilitated in such a calm and confident manner, which made my job of coordinating a group of artists so much easier! The whole event became a pivotal moment for the project, bringing people together in a way I could never have anticipated, and which has altered my thinking about the future of the project. Thank you for making us feel so welcome.
The weekend I spent at Clayhill Arts was a very welcome change of scenery to my otherwise urban setting. I felt calmed yet invigorated by the surroundings, and the accommodation was beautifully tasteful and very homely. The main space is wonderfully considered and very versatile - an ideal space for creativity and dynamic discussion. I left on the Sunday feeling energised and inspired by the experience of staying at Clayhill.
As a singer it has been one of the best spaces to sing in with generous reverberation and acoustics. It is a space which complemented the type of instruments I was working with and the songs.
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed being at your venue. It is a lovely and inspiring artistic space. The food was fantastic, homely yet unusual. I really enjoyed the day.
As an artist retreat, the venue at Clayhill Arts provided a warm and welcoming environment, allowing a safe and constructive space where individuals creative needs can be met.
We were lucky enough to be able to take over the whole venue for a weekend, using the Granary as our base for experimentation, discussion and shared learning. The informality of the accommodation, and the relaxed surroundings, put everyone at ease and offered a space where cooperation and encouragement evolved naturally.
Everything was wonderful! This is a beautiful place. Thank you, we really enjoyed our stay.
Clayhill feels remote which is great but it also is close to Cannington which has everything, so supplies can be bought without travelling a great distance...I also really enjoyed that it is still a working farm, because it feels productive and there is such a lot of life around us which is very inspiring
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