Tag Archives: postcards

my secret distraction

Friday 18 September 2015

trawling through some image folders, came across these photographs of the three postcards i made for rca secret 2015.

i made the effort to photograph them at the time, and now i am wondering whatever happened to the postcards. my secret distraction.

did they sell and raise some cash for my old college? i think maybe not, and they have since been resigned to the skip of art. the rca have previously stated few remain unsold after the exhibition [so there are some]. unsold cards are not returned to the artists.


[three secret postcards 2015]

thinking about my cards, wherever they may be: the first three are numerals [3, 6, 9] based on wooden printing blocks, although i flipped the original design. i was influenced by metal signage at the time.

rca secret is all numbers: numbered cards on display, long queues, a secret raffle to select the first fifty buyers through the door, selling cards and raising a lot of money for student fees. then after the sale, matching names with numbers, or numbers to names. my postcard numbers [as discovered on the rca website]: 1724, 1875, 2098.

the number three: everywhere, nearly every day: on a door, in tiny details in photographs, pondering on the red ’33’ painted on the backrest of my vintage swivel draughtsman’s chair, which was rescued from a skip at the college where i used to work – as this seemed significant – and two threes made six, another red three, and that made nine… i was looking out for three numbers. 1-2-3 may have been a simpler combination, but there was something quite cheery about the rounded shape of the figure nine, and it looked like a lowercase little ‘g’.

the number 33 studio chair has since lost any sense of swivel, so maybe the college skip was the best place for it after all. nevertheless, it’s a moderately pleasing piece of vintage furniture, with black tubular steel legs and a curved, ergonomic wooden seat [with some surprising graffiti], and it’s naturally in a design partnership with my parallel-motion drawing board [that i acquired for free in exchange for a small collage]. there is less need for this type of design studio equipment with computer-aided design, i guess. but i digress… it’s just a ‘high’ chair [but chairs can be lethal, as i discovered while casually reading the times newspaper the other day]


[secret postcard to dubai]

for the fourth postcard, for the rca’s newest fund-raising venture, rca secret dubai, i reclaimed [re-used] the off-cut pieces from the number cards to make a new collaged piece with a more pronounced 3d appearance. the assembled curves and overlapping shapes also appeared to evoke a middle-eastern aesthetic.

my secret postcard to dubai, where some millionaires reside, where the world’s most ambitious buildings are being constructed, where everything looks expensive, shiny, and new… and i was reconfiguring various cut-out scraps of already recycled card into a new mini-artwork for an international fund-raising art event in dubai. seems fair.

rca secret: supporting the next generation of fine artists in their post-graduate studies.


Friday 13 February 2015

six and seven [or seven and six]…

makes thirteen:


rustic abstract fragments art collage on square card
fragments #19, 2014: £15
collage on black card, 41mm x 39mm, card 15cm x 15cm, with gold envelope


rustic abstract fragments art collage on square card
fragments #22, 2014: £15
collage on black card, 40mm x 43mm, card 15cm x 15cm, with gold envelope


see more… postcard sale

home correspondence

Wednesday 11 February 2015

a good artist friend has sent me some pictures of one of her recent sculptural assemblages with one of my miniature abstract collages – comparing the surface, colour and texture of the small sculpture with the collage: blue, pale green, grey, rusty red-brown.


it was a lovely surprise to see one of my tiny collage cards now in a picture frame next to hazel’s sculpture.


this delightful ‘boat’ sculpture is constructed from a rusty spade* as its sail, fixed to a small piece of driftwood. my small abstract collage is made from paper and card fragments [art studio detritus].


this very small collage is is about 3cm square, one of thirty abstract collages on A6 postcards that i created for the 2013 artworks exhibition. the artworks exhibition has a popular ‘art shop’ where visitors can buy postcards, small paintings, original prints, drawings, sculpture, etc – the small things you might see and like at an ‘open studio’ event. i made more collages, this time on square cards, for the 2014 artworks exhibition. many people seemed to like these tiny collages, which was heartening.

most of my artwork is quite subtly textured, or created in relief, and sometimes muted in colour, and it doesn’t translate naturally into flat, printed cards and postcards. i’m more naturally inclined to make artworks as cards, or cards as small artworks. i have also framed a few of these very small collages [as seen in previous blog posts].

it is always pleasing to see art in situ, at home in someone else’s home, how it corresponds and connects to the surroundings. curiously, this aspect of art and the home came up in conversation this week with another artist friend: how and where you live, and how it influences or reflects your art in some way. i don’t think i could ever live and work in two separate places [well, no further than the end of the garden!].

inevitably, this got me thinking more about art and life, how one thing feeds naturally into another, the correspondences between the life we live, the things we see, the things we collect, the things we like and love, the things we make and do – it is an ever-evolving symbiotic relationship. if it is disrupted, it takes some time to rediscover and nurture a ‘creative space’, be it physical [a room] or in the mind [of ideas].

relatedly, last week, another artist i know had mentioned in casual conversation my artwork from the 90s – my detritus collage – and whether i had considered doing more of that kind of work [it seems like decades ago, now – and it was!!]. i still have a habit of ‘collecting’ small random things from walks and my travels – all the artists i know do this – artists are natural magpies.

well, dear reader [i think that’s me, mostly!], this concludes today’s home correspondence.

back to the wonderful rusty boat. hazel has a marvellous art studio, spacious and full of light, filled with beach-combing finds, which are often transformed into small sculptures. many of them, like the boat pictured, are created while staying at the coast. you can see more of hazel’s paintings and sculptures on her website. http://www.hazelbignell.co.uk/