In a bit of an artistic rut …

… feel lacking in impetus? Want to try something different but aren’t sure where to start?

Well I have a solution for you. For the price of producing a postcard sized piece of work and some postage you could end up part of an international art movement, be blogged about and be part of an exhibition. No I’m not from Nigeria and I don’t need your bank account details. I’m inviting you to participate in the wonderful world of Mail Art and more particularly the Book About Death Australia project.

Now if you want a very wordy definition of Mail Art click on the link. But basically Mail Art is art you send in the mail, or post for non US readers. There are no rights or wrongs, very few rules and everyone who participates seems to be happy and have fun. It’s often said to be some sort of anarchistic hippy activity, but that seems a little bit too condescending and simple. Someone organises a project and the word spreads through a loosely organised network such as Mail Arts Projects or the International Union Of Mail Artists. Usually there is a theme but how you interpret that and using what medium is largely up to you. The projects may be exhibited, blogged about or even disseminated as an artists assembling book or any combination of those.

A Book About Death was a mail art project that didn’t want to end. Originally conceived by Matthew Rose the project was part homage to the American artist Ray Johnson and a celebration of Emily Harvey and was held at the Emily Harvey Foundation, New York, in September 2009. The project attracted contributions from artist from all over the world, some like Yoko Ono were internationally renown artists the majority were not, but they were all given equal attention. My partner Helen took part and for one reason and another I didn’t. It quickly became a global sensation and I kicked myself that I had not got involved. Then a curious thing happened, the project kept being reborn like a phoenix all over the world and I got involved with A Book About Death Omaha in 2010. The concept is still alive and kicking and is now coming to Australia.

What I like about Mail Art is that although I only do a couple of projects a year it allows me be experimental and do things I wouldn’t normally. Don’t feel limited, play with different mediums, write, draw, sculpt , collage, photograph or any combination. Nothing is wrong, everything is accepted. Above all have FUN and enjoy participating.

John Smith, just 18 years old when his car hit a tree and killed him. Australian Book About Death, Tweed River Art Gallery NSW. .

Breaking News Asylum Seekers. Australian Book About Death, Tweed River Art Gallery NSW. .

My contributions are already in and have been blogged. So how about it? Give it ago. Who knows what it will bring.