“How can that be” you say, “two #Letter365 postings on one day?” Well as you can see from the image above it was me that had to cough up for the fact I forgot the stamp the other day. Of course, when presented with the Post Office card, I couldn’t just nip round to the sorting office and pick it up as I’m not supposed to touch it again till we install the show. So I had to get the stamps and send off the card to get the piece delivered. Later in the day I popped No337 in the same post box.
Now the thing about No337 is I found it difficult at first to appraise its quality. I had been busy all day and just come from a meeting with Laura and Megan at Arts Centre planning the installation and though I had the idea quite quickly, my head was in a different space. It took me a while to move from the administrative state I was in and reconnect with my art life. I suppose you could say I should have trusted my instinct whatever state I was in – and I am very pleased with the result – but I had to be sure. It was worthwhile to have to find a way to switch states quickly so I now have some useful techniques at my command.
A report has come in that a giant banded snail mail snail, Helix preposterous, was seen yesterday on the cycleway near the Coop heading towards Bridport. Just such a snail was last seen on the 12th October 2014 collecting #Letter365 No220 for delivery. Has the snail still got the piece? Has it eaten it? Will it get to Bridport Arts Centre in time? Is it indeed the same creature? Only time will tell!
I have been busy all day, much of it on #Letter365 business and I hadn’t the chance to do my piece earlier. This evening we went to the private view of the new show “Theatre of the Soul” at the Bridport Arts Centre and then off for a meal with some new friends. I never really had a major concern that it would come good but I admit to a minor concern especially as it took longer than anticipated to create the envelope. In the end it worked out better than I ever could have hoped. I had to drop the idea I originally had as I knew I could never complete it on time. A chance find (I am always open to serendipity) added a structural element and a reference to modern art and my response to that particular subject.
Sadly, in my haste to make sure it got posted before midnight I forgot the stamp. I forgot the stamp partly because I had forgotten/had no time to buy any first class stamps today. i had intended to use a second class stamp and annotate it with something like “second class post but still first class art”. I forgot that too. So something had to give in my haste but I trust the artwork didn’t suffer.
As it turned out I didn’t begin to make my piece today until I got on the train at Waterloo and although I was settled in well before the train set off, it was inevitable I couldn’t complete the task before we got going. So its creation spanned distance as well as time. That was actually important to the idea which related both to childhood train travel (most memorably in Scotland) and to the history of abstract art.
However I had forgotten to buy any stamps this morning so ended up delivering it by hand when i popped into Bridport to get a takeaway. This proved more complicated than I thought. First because the Thai restaurant I had chosen was closed for a couple of weeks! Then when I got to the Arts Centre there was a film in progress so I couldn’t get in and had to put it through the letterbox, quietly untaping it first where it had been secured to stop it flapping in the strong winds.
Walking round to the Arts Centre I thought of a brilliant headline and how I would write this blog entry but it went totally out of mind when I realised that I had omitted an apostrophe from my message on the envelope: worse than that I realised that I had done the same yesterday but not seen it. Woe, woe and, thrice, woe!
I put off doing my #Letter365 for a while to go to the artist’s talk with Jill Kennington at the Arts Centre. Her show of photographs is on in the Allsop Gallery above my #Collage365 show Oh and we also had a nice lunch at Spice & Rice the street curry stall in the market. So I didn’t get to deliver my letter till much later and Dee has had enough of me taking her photo!
I really don’t know if I can just restrict this one to #Letter365 I wasnt to develop it as a theme and I think it needs space to breathe rather than being locked up in an envelope. We will see! Well you won’t – that’s the whole idea of the project.
Even in my mind’s eye the remembrance of today’s piece sparked alive with a satisfied joy. I completed the piece before going off to Portland around lunchtime. I didn’t quite have the time to drop it in at the Arts Centre before going so it sat on the passenger seat. Even though I was in proximity to it I really didn’t give the contents a second thought. I went to the dentist, a gallery. explored some of the historic ruins looked at the view, drove back to Bridport, delivered the piece, went to the shop, made dinner and watched The Dark Knight without giving this specific artwork any thought. So when I came to write this, for a moment, I couldn’t remember what I had made! Even as I write this I have not yet looked at the photographs, I know exactly what I have created. I remember the point at which I had to decide how subtle or how obvious I needed to be with a particular element for it to be just slightly unsettling, to make the eye curious in a curious person and in an incurious person for their eyes to rest gently upon it.
Anyway, Megan was kind enough to take delivery of today’s piece. It was her exhibition I went to see in Fortune’s Well. I appreciate her wearing nail varnish and top that works well with the day’s envelope!
I needed to go out and get some coffee so I delivered today’s piece by hand. Dee was at the Arts Centre and, in her usual reluctant way, agreed to take delivery of No261. It’s not the taking delivery she has a problem with, but the taking of her picture – there is no telling her! She had noticed recent Schrödinger’s cat references and suggested “Cat” as the name that he might have called it. She also noticed that today’s envelope was quite chunky – I don’t mean knobbly, just robust, substantial – which is true. Perhaps she is right about what Schrödinger called the cat?
As I walked out of the Arts Centre I noticed someone reading about this project and said, in passing, “that’s good. It’s mine” She called me back and we had a chat and she is a sculptor called Rachel and her friend Nick came back to the studio for a chat and i didn’t get the coffee. A little bit later I went out for the coffee and met someone else and had a chat and ended up not doing much work!
Laura Cockett, the new Director of Bridport Arts Centre takes delivery of #Letter365 No252 at my #Collage365 Private View. It was a great evening with lots of people and some sales. #Letter365 is set to be even better.
I have been preparing my studio for visitors, painting walls and putting up pictures, but I am now completely exhausted and run down and worried about tomorrow’s Private View at the Arts Centre. The Arts Centre list has not had an email sent about the Private View and there was nothing in the local paper last week and we missed Evolver, so I am not happy and concerned there may be a low turn out. With the investment of time, energy and cash I have put in to the show I needed to maximise footfall.
So with all that going on I don’t have it in me to write about how I could do a Star Wars thing with the envelopes, nor to tease about the content of the envelope. What I do know is that I must make #Letter365 my very first job tomorrow or it will get forgotten and I will be trying to do it late when I am tired and stressed or tired and high.
An unfolding artwork created a piece each day for a year