Artist Talks during Correspondence Collective exhibition

As part of the Correspondence Collective Restriction Exhibiton, we hosted a series of Artist Talks that explored the lives and practice of artists who use mail art within their work. 

All of the talks were free to attend and took place on Zoom. Each talk was recorded and are available to view on our YouTube channel

The Bruton Correspondence School

25th March 13:00 – 14:00 

The Bruton Correspondence School is a [slow] mail art exchange project established by Chris Roberts and Rebecca McClelland, partly in response to the impact of the worldwide lockdown and their attempt to connect with a wider audience on the most basic and meditative level.

Artists, designers, photographers and other practitioners are invited to engage in an exchange of ideas and collaborate on miniature artworks through a mail art project inspired by the great Ray Johnson.

During this talk we learnt about the inspiration behind the @brutoncorrespondenceschool, its success as an artist network and its international reach, as well as how it has been developing during the pandemic by keeping artists making during lockdown.

Update since the talk was recorded:

From 24th July – 25th September, 2021 Bruton Correspondence School presents I DIDN’T LICK IT, its first major exhibition of three hundred artworks made in collaboration with their new correspondence school between March 2020 – June 2021. Find out more by visting @brutoncorrespondenceschool

Gordon Coldwell

30th March 14:00 – 15:00

Gordon Coldwell is a digital artist and has been involved in a digital mail art exchange, which raises questions over what makes an art collaboration? Does mail art work digitally? We hear about his collaborative project PEPITO which has taken place over the last 30 years. You can read more about Gordon in a recent interview he did with the No Name Collective for their Gallery Magazine.

Carl Middleton

1st April 13:00 -14:00 * BSL interpreted by Catherine Hall

An award winning visual artist working with language, communication and form, Carl Middleton has a studio and print workshop in Somerset. Carl has been involved with mail art for many years, as well as working with print and letterpress. The connection to language and communication in Carl’s work is something that has come across within mail art and communicating to other artists on an international level which is something he will share with us during this talk.

The Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society

6th April 14:00 – 15:00

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.

Eleanor Matthews @postart_uk 

6th May 13:00 – 14:00 * BSL interpreted by Catherine Hall

Eleanor Matthews is an artist, creative strategist and mum. Since March 2020, she has worked on numerous projects involving sending art works via the postal system to a setting up a street gallery, using people’s homes for display as part of an arts trail for sitcfestival across Seaham and Durham.

Online Zine Making Workshop with Dizzy Ink

20th May 10:00 – 15:00

This online zine making workshop revolved around the idea of junk mail.

Participants met online in the morning with an introduction from Craig at Dizzy Ink about the process of making and printing. After spending some time away from the screen to create the work, they came back online in the afternoon to watch the printing process and share their making observations with others.

Feedback from participants:

Thank you so much for the workshop today, really enjoyed doing something different and can’t wait to see the results (though I suspect I will wish I had done things differently so will perhaps have to have another go!). I haven’t done any virtual workshops but liked the format of the intro then having time away to work independently. 

Thank you for organising the zine making workshop, it was inspiring and great fun. 

It was great to spend a day working like this – good clear introduction, the own time away from zoom to do the actual making was paced right (had to work fast, but that I think helped!). It was fascinating to hear so much about the process from Craig – and also about how he uses it – really inspiring. I found this end session made me think about other ways I could have approached my page, and it was good to have it this way round, because it kept things open – although I think what I came up with was a bit scrappy, it was nice to go into something without any preconceptions. 

Visit our stories highlight on instagram to see images of the day and examples of the work created throughout the workshop.

Jennifer Collier

10th June 13:00 -14:00 * BSL interpreted by Catherine Hall

Paper pioneer Jennifer Collier creates exquisite sculptures from vintage recycled materials in conjunction with stitch; a contemporary twist on traditional textiles. The papers serve as both the inspiration and the media for the work, with the narrative suggesting the forms. Through this marriage of unlikely materials old papers are transformed into something truly unique, delicate and complex.

Michael Leigh

8th July 12:00 – 13:00 * BSL interpreted by Catherine Hall

Michael has taken part in hundreds of mail art shows around the world, printed lots of postcards, little books, pamphlets, made hundreds of rubber stamps etc and made lots of lovely friends around the world.  This talk will explore those connections and collaborations and the opportunities that working within the mail system brings.

Book your place here

This project has been kindly supported by Arts Council England

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