During the first lockdown of March 2020 a postcard exchange took place between myself and a friend (Megan Wakelam), the exchange started as a means to stay in touch as well as being excited by receiving something in the post. Over the course of a few months this grew in scale and I started to introduce other creatives to get involved to stay making during the time of lockdown.
I have become interested in mail art and the prospect of sending and receiving art in post was exciting, adding to collages, postcards and even small assemblages had started to become a new way of working in an unsettling time. As lockdown had restricted many artists unable to exhibit their work, mail art was a great way to get artwork seen by others and even open up the opportunity for collaboration. This sparked the idea for an online exhibition with a theme of Restriction, yet removing as many ‘restriction’s’ as possible in an online context.
Working with Clayhill Arts (Somerset) the opportunity came to use an old letterpress drawer unit, comprised of miniature compartments in various sizes. Examining these drawer spaces felt a great way to showcase work for the Restriction exhibition, using these spaces to highlight our physical restrictions we have all faced within the Covid-19 pandemic.
I have become aware of how many restrictions artists face when trying to exhibit work, especially those with a disability. The exhibition has a strong focus on showcasing work from emerging and d/deaf and disabled artists, we hope to make the application process as easy and accessible as possible, with BSL, easy read and audio description available. The exhibition itself has no restriction on medium used to produce work, the only ‘restriction’ is the allocated compartment sizes for each artist. On application artists are invited to purpose an idea with what mediums they will be making work in, from 2d, 3d, poetry to video and sound work. Selected artists are then allocated 4 different compartment sizes, this can be adjacent to one another or spread out. Once completed, the work is then posted to Clayhill Arts bring back in the physicality of art works to be exhibited within the letterpress drawers. I felt it important to have the work physically go somewhere, be held and interacted with, something we can not do ourselves at the moment. For me this would bring artists together from the UK and internationally forming the Correspondence Collective, a community of artists.
The exhibition will be held online opening with a live stream of the artworks on the 23rd March 2021, videos, workshops and artists talks over the two-week period the exhibition is live. After this time the Correspondence Collective will continue to grow as a community of artists and holding regular artist talks and workshops, artists of the month feature as well as keeping artists and creatives making during these strange times, we are currently in.
It is FREE to apply to the open call and all applications can be made online via the website.
Submit your idea
Exhibition opens – livestream
23 March – 6 April