Deltiology is the study and collection of postcards. A collection of postcards in a gallery in a seaside town makes logical sense. The new exhibition at FYCreatives does just that.
The brief for artists contributing to the show was that the work had to fit the scale of a postcard or business card, making the artist think about how to use this small space. The result is a varied collection of work that is intimate in nature, yet bold. This is a show where you have to get close to the work to really appreciate it. The brief allowed for the submission of up to three pieces and this has given artists the opportunity to create a series of work or, in some cases, tell a story within this small scale.
The show itself is presented in a very minimalistic format. The cards are displayed together in rows around the gallery and they are presented anonymously. There are no artist’s names, no titles or descriptions of the work, just the work itself. This gives the viewer a rare chance to view artwork with little or no preconceived notions of the work on display. The flyer for the show does list the artists involved if you are interested in finding out more about the creators.
There is work on show from 40 different artists, with a range of disciplines on display ranging from traditional photography, manipulated photography, pen and ink drawings, watercolours, collage, screen prints, paintings on card, paintings on canvas, paintings on paper, abstract graphic drawings on brown paper, photographic prints on glass, digital art and even text-based pieces using an old-fashioned typewriter. There is also a collection of pieces submitted by local school children. This emphasizes the fact that this show is a very good opportunity for people who may not have thought about submitting work to do so.
It is interesting to see the approach of different artists to working at a specific scale. Some artists may already work at a small scale; therefore their work easily translates very easily to the size limits. The pen and ink drawings and watercolours lend themselves to the format very elegantly, whereas some of the paintings are images you can imagine seeing at a larger scale, therefore they feel like miniaturised versions of something else, but still work as an image at postcard size. This is also true of the photography. The more personal pet portraits and images of fairground rides seem perfectly natural at the postcard size, where you can imagine the studio shot photographs of garbage as large format prints on the wall of a modern art museum. The whole show could be viewed as a miniaturised version of a trip around a contemporary art gallery. A pleasing mix of styles and ideas, all available to view in one room.
Garth Gratrix, co-curator of the show, told me it was interesting that the majority of pieces were submitted in the postcard size format, rather than the other option of business card size, possibly showing how artists approach their work in a social context rather than a business one. A thought-provoking view as to where artists position themselves in society.
This is a show which is well worth a visit. There are very few places where you can see a varied collection of work by so many international and locally based artists together in one space.
The show runs until 31st August at FYCreatives, 154-158 Church Street, Blackpool, FY1 3PS.
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