ART IN HOSPITAL POSTAL PROJECTS
DEVELOPED IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19
The postal projects were conceived as a way of continuing to facilitate art-making with patients and staff whilst we are unable to deliver art sessions in person, and as a way of maintaining the relationships we have with the patients and staff we would normally be working with. The different strands of the postal projects have involved sending in packs of art materials and visual resources to the hospitals and care homes where we run art sessions, postcard mail art projects and book making projects such as Art in Hospital artist Alison Newman's 'Autogramme'. You will find details of this project if you keep scrolling down.
We're delighted to have received images of the lovely work patients and staff have been making during this time . To see the work created so far and more on our postal projects you can go to our Instagram page by clicking on this link @art.in.hospital.
To find out more about sharing your work with us please go to our SHARE / CONTRIBUTE page where there are details of where to send images of your work and a downloadable online consent form.
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing your artwork.
'AUTOGRAMME' PATIENT AND STAFF BOOK PROJECT
Developed in response to working remotely, this Art in Hospital book project will gather drawings and written contributions from patients and staff over the coming weeks and I hope you will engage in making art on these strips, folds and postcards made available to work on. Once the art has been collated a series of small books will be hand bound, making a unique collective artwork.
The title 'Autogramme' references significant or urgent messages sent from afar, like a telegram, mailed especially during times of adversity and the act of contributing your autographic drawings / visual messages, being sent and received from your location or healthcare setting, form your ‘Autogramme’. Our method of communication and connection used at this time. The source of inspiration and drawing contribution can, of course, be anything of your choice, however, there are a few ideas outlined below to use as a starting point and are particularly relevant at the moment. Click HERE for a downloadable handout.
Patterns of Nature: Wonderful patterns in flowers, fields, skies, water and seasons can inspire us. On the subject of the current need to ‘restrict’ our activities and move into recovery physically and mentally, I believe images of nature are very therapeutic to work from. Nature shields us at difficult times, conveying resilience and regeneration. Look closely at seasons, pattern, colour + shape.
Portraits of Self: Patients + staff could draw objects and what is around them, forming a portrait of themselves at this particular time. Reflecting on current situation, drawing from memory, places we enjoy, or simply use colours that surround you. A recent newspaper article spoke of 'one's place in our shared history'. This is so relevant to patients, staff and AIH at this particular time and these 'portraits' can reflect this. Combination of drawing, writing, sketch and thoughts all welcome.
Expressions: You may want to draw, you may prefer to write or you can do both. Work across the sheet and folds with writing... your thoughts, try fiction or a diary, memories and messages. Illustrate with sketches + maps if you wish. Record a story or express yourself just making marks.
Drawing Together: Gather materials, get inspired by looking at art books or the online resource Art in Hospital have launched for use during this time of working remotely. Make artwork from anything that inspires you from this extensive resource of ideas and images ‘drawn together’ for you. Draw alongside an activities co-ordinator, a patient or staff and contribute to convey the act of pulling resources together, energy from medical teams and positive energy from yourself, bringing staff, patients and artists from different locations together through making art
Points to remember –
This paper will take a little watercolour and dry materials like pencil, colour pencil, pastel and pen.
You can work over the folds, to the edges and across the length of the sheet. Use both sides if you want to, keeping the top and bottom the same on each side though.
Please initial one of your artworks, using a very faint and subtle mark. This will show your individual contribution within the finished collection of books.
The book project can connect with the postcard artworks, some of which will be bound within the handmade books. Work on a postcard as well as the paper strips, perhaps using the same ‘theme’
Please complete a ‘consent’ form, so that we may use your artwork within the book collection, display it on Art in Hospital website / Instagram and exhibition displays.
Take your time and contribute as much artwork as you want, working over the next few weeks.
Gather completed artwork and contact email address below for collection.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange artwork collection.
RELATED MATERIAL: BOOKMAKING AND MAIL ART
The instructions depicted above are from Bruton Correspondance School's take on mail art. Click on the link above to see how one artwork from this mail art project developed during our current, distanced situation.
ART IN HOSPITAL CALENDARS
KEEPING IN TOUCH
Some of the Art in Hospital artists made 2021 calendars from patients' artwork as well as beautiful local photographs taken during the year. Click below to see images of the calendar Lotte Gertz made for our project at the New Victoria hospital.
Watercolour painting with silhouetted bare tree and ruins. The sky is pale lilac and blue.
Photograph of rusty coloured, frosty leaves.
At the moment we are more reliant than usual on remote methods of connecting with each other via art; sending artwork through the post could be one method. Making small booklets can be a satisfying way of of collating our endeavours into small, portable artworks.
The video below shows some video tutorials on simple bookmaking, made by Chang Yuchen, who works at Printed Matter, an independent bookshop in New York.
READ | ARCHIVE
"Beginning in the 1960s, artists from around the world looked to the postal system as an alternative means of producing, distributing, and receiving art. Mail art (alternatively called “correspondence art” or “postal art”) emerged as a form of artistic practice in which an international network of participants use the mail to make art and share it with others. With letters, postcards, and packages—as well as material that tested the limits of what could be posted—mail artists circumvent traditional elite modes of display and distribution (such as museums and commercial galleries) in favor of the more accessible space of the modern post." (Smithsonian)
CLICK HERE for an online exhibition with the Archives of American Art detailing many fascinating examples of mail art.
CLICK HERE for images of prolific "correspondence artist" Ray Johnson's work.
Image courtesy of the Estate of Ray Johnson.