For SITC, artists were invited by Eleanor Matthews to respond to the British Museum touring exhibition, Pushing paper: contemporary drawing from 1970 to now at Durham University’s Oriental Museum. Artists were sent an image at random from the exhibition catalogue for Pushing Paper and created the postcards shown here in response. Online resources and more information about the now online exhibition can be found here.
Eleanor Matthews, Durham artist (and now home-schooling mam) set up Post Art just before lockdown, a project where artists create original, postcard-sized artworks and send them to other artists and those needing a morale-boost during the COVID-19 crisis. Eleanor is a member of Interface Arts – a County Durham based art group. Their members and other artists are taking part in the Post Art project.
This exhibition page will be updated as more postcard responses arrive.
If you would like to take part there are still a few images left – please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
Response to Imran Qureshi
Where the Shadows are so Deep
Child’s Wedding Shoe
Qureshi references techniques and materials of 16th century Mughal miniature portraits. Red markings on gold leaf surround delicate landscapes devoid of human form, in reaction to violent conflicts in Pakistan. I have adopted Quereshi’s palette of gold, red and blue in my work. I was inspired by a pair of exquisitely crafted Pakistani children’s wedding shoes from the Oriental Museum collection.
My two postcards, each featuring a single shoe indicates former human traces – the maker, the wearer, the ceremony, a gathering.
The image is presented as discreetly symbolic of childhood abandoned, asa result of young children forced into labour or marriage within certain cultural traditions.
Response to Jo Stanness
My interpretation of the Apollo Pavilion seeks to capture the spirit of optimism and joy of the project’s aim and the era of its creation. The pavilion was built in 1969, named after the first manned mission to the moon in the same year.
Designed by Victor Pasmore, renowned artist, the pavilion is now listed in recognition of its historical and cultural significance as a cohesion of art and architecture. Originally integral to the estate’s design, the pavilion served as a pedestrian link between the two halves of the Sunny Blunts estate.
Pasmore describes it as “an architecture and sculpture of purely abstract form, through which to walk, in which to linger on, and on which to play, a free and anonymous monument which, because of its independence, can lift the activity and psychology of an urban housing community onto a universal plane.”
Rooted in ancient culture and mythology Carolyn’s sculptures often hold a narrative. In response to Roger Ackling’s ‘Sunlight on Wood’, three aspects of her piece – its title, theme and creative process relate to his work. Using gamma adjustment to encode the luminance i.e. tristimulus values of her sculptural images she references the myth of Icarus.
As a sculptor this is a new departure for her work following on from her ‘Guardian Angel’ postcard series for the Interface Arts Covid 19 Project whereby artists have kept touch during these uncertain times.
Response to Kenneth Martin
Order V Chaos
This piece of Kinetic Art produced by random chance of numbers and dice is also concerned with order. To reflect this I have used blue/green acrylic paint to create ready painted 10cm strips. I experimented with dropping the pieces to make a random arrangement.
The face I was 13 when this was being created and being born on the 13th I thought that was a ‘chance’ element to incorporate into this piece.
As a result I used 13 strips of paper and dropped them from 13” height until I had an arrangement on paper that was pleasing to the eye!
10cm strips represent order
13 in total, 13” drop height represents chance/chaos
Response to David Nash
I tried to recreate Nash’s ephemeral art by making an origami paper boulder using the print from the catalogue. I got up very early and drove to Bollihope where I threw it into the burn at 6:58am on June 2nd. I filmed it as it went along and measured the time and distance. It was all over in less than 4 minutes because it went all soggy and sank. I had great fun doing it. His project captured my imagination and I just wanted to try and do it myself. I found it difficult to do on a small scale. Thanks for inspiring me.
Below is the video Chris took of her origami paper boulder and its journey in Bollihope Burn, in response to David Nash’s Wooden Boulder.
Response to Peter Doig
I was familiar with Peter Doig’s paintings but not his drawings. I watched Friday the 13th, which Doig drew from for his piece, and returned to in his work for a number of years. I had never seen the film before, and chose a number of stills to draw from, while I was watching the rest of the film. I incorporated Doig’s use of various shades by using pen and pencil, and his method of drawing by taking the pen off the page as little as possible. I tried to capture the light and feeling of foreboding in the landscape shots, which resonated with my own work.
More about Post Art
The aim is to connect people in isolating times and encourage people to use their time to share their creativity, brightening up someone’s day through their letterboxes.
So far hundreds of cards have been sent to other artists, carers, care homes, those self-isolating on their own, refuse collectors, shopkeepers and other essential workers by members of Interface Arts, and partner artist networks such as Spectrum and Little Green Hut.
Response to Jan Vanriet
The image of the young Jewish girl, during World War II in the painting, showing the devastation that race hatred produces prompted me to respond to the racial injustice that is still prevalent today, 90 years later. I chose an image from the press coverage of the demonstrations in the U.S.A. following the killing of George Floyd by a policeman. I wanted to create an image that every life matters, regardless of race, religious beliefs or ethnic origins.
Response to David Hockney
Gregory Chateau Marmont
Gregory, Chateau Marmont, by David Hockney depicts his friend and lover relaxing on a hot summers day. This very personal study reminded me of a subject that I have painted and drawn over the years of my younger brother watching my Aunty Joan’s cat drinking milk in the sunshine. It is taken from a photograph I took as a teenager, capturing a moment in time.
Response to Michael Ditchburn
One Sat, Another Sitting
A short artistic journey.
Bird Box Life I
I believe I have used axonometric perspective and my own version of viewing the action too. I’ve been watching the blue tits in my garden birdbox flying in and out and feeding their young during lockdown. The living things are augmented with colour.
Bird Box Life II
In this drawing composition I have simplified the drawing – less shading, only one bird. This does seem to emphasise the structures and suggest more space.
Bird Box Life III
A completely linear version, all structural – no bird life. The birds have all flown “the nest”. In all these works I’ve tried to suggest the passing of time – of time as the birds work and grow and of me watching them in and out of the Silver Birch tree in our garden. I have even broken out of the confines of the rectangular postcard shape.
Bird Box Life IV
I have decided to scan my drawings into a computer and use a drawing app on my ipad to develop my work even further. I filled the shapes created by the different aspects of perspective with colour. This gives the drawing a more solid feel.
Bird Box Life V
Working with linear drawing (no III) introducing colour to shapes created from the different perspectival views of the 3 bird boxes depicted. Has a naïve design look. Again using drawing app on ipad.
Bird Box Life VI
Using a scanned image of my second drawing on a drawing app. I like the variation of colours which randomly appear doing the lines. I have printed the digital drawings on glossy photo paper.
Bird Box Life VII
A lot of time spent trying out all the effects on the ipad apps. Here the composition has been flipped horizontally and a watercolour ‘wet on wet’ background used. Apps – free versions of Photofox, PicsArt and Medibang Paint
Response to Rachel Whiteread
I decided to use pen, ink and gouache in ‘Pink’, also drawing on the hidden theme Rachel talks about re. her fascination with floors. Her drawing is soft and delicate in contrast to her monolithic sculptures, and at first I could see nothing to inspire me.
But then as I sat in my garden watching the plants come to life, I saw that the blooms are the foundations of the flowers, especially in my peonies. The small, solid buds hiding the massive blooms to come.