TXT 24 Vintage Postcard Art


I will be seeking out postcards belonging to people which feature beautiful vintage photography on one side and a snippet of a life written on the other. This project challenges the changes the way we correspond and communicate. Postcards were carefully chosen and written with secret coded messages, or simple handwritten notes with days to arrive. Communication is now instant, so instant we don’t even need to write the full words anymore. We TXT.

I will ask people to seek out their hidden, lost or forgotten postcards, to search drawers, talk to parents and grandparents to find an old postcard. In seeking the postcard the project hopes to re-invigorate conversations. What’s the letter about, who was it from, was the image relevant.

Once a card is given I will create a new work of art with the postcard that reflects something special back to the Giver. The images will have new life breathed into them, as the conversations have had new life breathed into them by being re-invigorated. The pieces will become new works of art via art collage to shift the perceptions of the original image and, thereby, shift conversations to a new direction. The artworks will be returned to the original owners where they will be asked to share the conversation this new work inspired.

The locations for the initial project will be 3 Victorian Spa Seaside Towns along the Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast, harking back to the era of the holiday postcard, the intention is to gather at least 8 postcards from people in each town.

24 is key.

  • Time is shrinking, we text in abbreviations because time is so precious, there are only 24 hours in a day.
  • X is the 24th letter of the alphabet, perhaps this will shift if all the vowels disappear in the future as TXT becomes the common language. In a postcard X was a kiss, in a text, X represents a whole host of emotions via emoticons.
  • And, as we choose not to put pen to paper the Royal Mail seek to gain their income by increasing prices: the 24p stamp became obsolete exactly 24 years after its introduction.

Utilising digital media and face to face conversations the postcards will travel full circle. I will raise awareness of the project via Facebook coverage. A bespoke page with links to sites, forums and Tweets to find the hidden stories and locate the postcards, to then share the completed artworks and encourage commentary, thereby widening the audience who can see the finished artworks.

Each work will be returned to the original owners, via post at the end of week 2.

Owners will be asked to text their response to the artist’s phone, or use other digital media, if they prefer. The artist will enclose a hand written postcard with a thank you note and request for the recipient to share their comments via text, tweet, Facebook or any way they choose.

And so the circle of sharing will continue. The recipient will show other’s their work, the artist will share it online.

It will be very interesting to see how wide the audience can become, without stepping into a gallery space. Take the art to the community, for the community, to gather and share stories using the postcard art as the medium.