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Friday, August 8, 2014

Maritime Mail Art Event on Great Cranberry Island

This is how it looked right after hanging!

Of course Cranberry Island welcomed Berry Maritime Mail Art with open arms.  About 50 turned up for the opening event and many more (islanders and trippers) came through during the week.  People are still stopping me on the road to tell me how much they enjoyed looking at the mail art and how it got them thinking differently, or about things they might do with their own communities. People who missed the event tell me the facebook posting was great!  Phew, I often wonder if I am either barraging people with unwanted stuff, or blogging into the abyss.

Poet and educator, Michael Glaser, and I talked about how taking part in something like this, or when young people's work is collected into an anthology, provides them with possibility.  They begin to see themselves differently… One of my UK school teacher friends caught sight of the mail art - how could she miss it - and wants to get her students involved.

Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera to the opening event and what with the hustle and bustle of 18 for dinner for two weeks, I never quite made it back to photograph again, so apologies for any inferior shots.  More work arrived after the first hanging so don't despair if you can't make out your work… I hung everything I received and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

The Ipswich Suffolk hanging takes place next Wednesday, just in time for Maritime Ipswich!  Send  anything last minute to my UK address.  I will scan and blog all that has arrived there, when I get over my jet lag, later next week. 

Cranberry Island welcomed

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

From Alison Stockmarr on fair day!

Today was fair day and the bunting on Alison's card predicted what I would see as I walked to my table at the white elephant. It was festive and timeless on the Cranberry road!

I could recognise an original Alison Stockmarr piece of mail art in a flash. If you don't already know about Alison's witty and beautiful facebooks, click on the link - they are astounding!

Kamilla Talbot

From Kamilla Talbot, one of last month's artist in residents at the Heliker LaHotan foundation
you can see more of Kamilla's work at:

spreading the cheer, merry time style

Felted maritime - Shannon Westphal

As I scanned this piece I realised i couldn't be sure if it was upside down… As I turned it round and round I found I believed it whichever way i turned it.  Shannon sent it to me in a clear envelope, So the sky appeared postmarked!

Patricia Bailey - 'Not all Were Mad Men'

Lots of smiles at the opening from this one!

Pablo ocampo and his performing maritime crustaceans


A maritime butterfly from Kyle Moss

This utterly satisfying collage arrived from my second youngest niece, Kyle Moss.

maritime flora - KIrsten Meier

These ingenious pieces arrived from Kirsten.  They are each a stand alone frame and featured on the table in the exhibition - for items that were engineered in some way that might not be appreciated if they had been hung!

Keris' porthole maritime mail art arrived just in time!

Great haptic maritime mail art arrived just in time to hang in the maritime mail art exhibition!  In the previous exhibition her piece arrived a few days after the exhibition came down… so I hung that one too, this time!

Summer tribute maritime mail art - Jake Moss

One of the things we do on this little island (in the summer) is jump.  While the dock, the 'actors' and the buildings have changed I jump, you jump, we all jump when the weather gets warm and the ferry fills with tourists.  It's a little like mail art at the dock. Young people, barely out of armbands and greying versions take the plunge together...

Just think that 50+ woman screaming 'FREE THE BEACHES' might just be me.  Jake's maritime mail art is a nod to this.  Long live the dock.  Long live the mail boat.  Let's jump forever!

Maritime Advice from Gail Cleveland

Gail also sent me a little photo of some of her more serious work.  Of course I hung this at the exhibition but I have failed to scan it in this batch… So here is a link to more of Gail's work.

Maritime mail art sails to Cranberry Island

Maritime mail art in a bottle

Luckily this delicate hand cut maritime offering didn't have far to travel!

Marry Time Mail Art from Figgy Guyver

Raw Trashpo from Cezar Ferreira

When we were hanging the Berry Maritime Mail Art exhibition, Cezar, Cranberry Island's own Brazillian chef at Hitty's, the cafe on the ground floor at the Historical Society, came upstairs to take a look at how things were progressing.  He was enthusiastic so I requested that he create something for the event, post it with Eilleen (postmistress) and be part of the event.  Cezar is a remarkable photographer, so I was expecting something in that domain. Instead, Cezar sent me some postcards he rescued from the dump on the island - creating this RAW TRASHPO!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bawdy postcards or x rated mail art?

I take the role of archivist and open submission curator seriously. To date I have never received anything that offended me and all work that I've received has featured in exhibitions I have held.  These pieces by Daniel De Culla were also shown, but in the meantime I wrote to Daniel and explained that I felt they were too explicit for the Cranberry Island leg of the show.
I don't know Daniel but I suspected that his cards allude to seaside postcards of yore, or are concerned with a pun on cherries etc… whatever, I don't feel I am a gatekeeper. 

However, Cranberry Island is a tiny island and I already tiptoe around political differences, town and gown sensibilities and would never seek to offend.

So on the day of the show I asked lots of people what they thought and the response was divided.  In the end I put all the cards in an envelope on a table (labled) for clarity, but they were there, un-censored, provoking dialogue and even a bit of controversy.