Back in December I made some Christmas cards using old stamps, which I featured in this post. To be honest this was motivated more by money saving than by any artistic message, but nevertheless people seemed to like them and I got a lot of compliments on them. Then they were seen by the director of Bath Postal Museum, and I was asked to go in for a meeting to discuss a possible exhibition. Initially I was very nervous. I'd never had an exhibition as an adult, and I wasn't sure I would have enough ideas, especially on the theme of post. Usually as an artist you can choose your own themes, or not have a theme at all. This time I was working within stricter parameters, having to fit into a particular space and produce something which worked with the Museum's existing collection.
Once I stopped panicking so much, I realised that post was actually a recurring theme in my life. I went to the post office every week as a child, I'd played with toy post office sets, I had always received postcards from friends and family and I wrote to penpals. I still get a lot of post, although most of it is parcels these days. And I had always been fascinated by stamps. I produced a few pieces of work to take to the meeting, including a tiny miniature envelope, and an envelope completely collaged in used stamps and post marks. The director loved them, and it was decided that I would have an exhibition.
Once I'd got over the initial hurdle of the first few pieces of work, the ideas flowed more freely. Initially I worked with real stamps, producing collages, more stamp cards, and a "patchwork" of stamps.
Then came some drawn work, inspired by post marks.
I thought about how decorative the colours and pictures on stamps are, and that led into giant stamp bunting.
I was also keen to produce some lino prints for the exhibition. I'd wanted to include some form of print making, as the process reminded me of the stamping and printing of post marks and frank marks on letters.
Then came the day it all had to go up! It was actually much easier than I'd anticipated, but also a lot more time consuming.
But once it was up, I was happy, and very relieved! I feel pleased with what I produced for this exhibition, and I think it's quite accessible. There's something for everyone, as it ranges from bright colours and simple collage to the rougher, monochrome prints.
My exhibition is currently on show at Bath Postal Museum, which is open to the public (there is a small admission fee). I take commissions for artwork and illustration, have a portfolio of existing work, and also sell work in my shop.
More details about the exhibition and Bath Postal Museum can be found at www.bathpostalmuseum.co.uk