I’m pleased to announce that I selected the following artists to have work reproduced as postage stamps for AIRMAIL / аviapochta: Adele Mary Reed, Frieda van de Poll, Kathryn Hawkins, John Yeadon, Lorsen Camps, Matt Boynton, Theo Wright and Alan Van Wijgerden.

About AIRMAIL / авиапочта

Airmail / aviapochta is an exhibition of art work from eight Coventry artists alongside a developing artist research resource for the Museum of Fine Arts in Volgograd, Russia. The exhibition celebrates artists making work in Coventry now and complements a programme of formal conversations between Coventry and Volgograd’s curators, artists and city officials about the ongoing opportunities for artistic collaborations between these twinned cities.

Part of Vita-Art-Time festival, AIRMAIL / aviapochta responds to the festival’s theme of ‘celebrating modern art as the way of life comprehension and the means to overcome the borders’ by creating work that literally transcends borders via the international postal system. Each of the eight featuring artists have had their work reproduced as a limited edition postage stamp, used to AIRMAIL packages of historical and contemporary research information from Coventry to Volgograd. Each uniquely stamped package arriving at the museum is opened and presented as part of the exhibition, becoming a literal resource for the conversation programme and a nod to the essential and enduring nature of art and twinning.

Artists

Adele Mary Reed is interested in photography to highlight, maintain, introduce or restore beauty in things which happen throughout day-to-day life. She uses photography as a tool to seek what hasn’t yet been seen, expected, or imagined.

1) Dérive (February 2013)

Frieda van de Poll’s emotive drawing and painting work comprises ethereal images that are surreal representations of the human existence, underpinned by a Masters in Theology and Philosophy. She believes that art should express life and induces the viewer to become enthralled by her work as one would a fairytale.

2) Harpies, Watercolour, Indian ink. Harpies are cruel ancient Greek spirits who take dead souls to the Underworld for punishment.

Kathryn Hawkins’ work is selected from her series ‘River Walk 2012’, which was made in response to a series of walks, archival searches, experiments with GPS mapping and physical interventions exploring the role of natural features in determining the role and character of the city centre

3) DSCF0033 (from River Walk 2012). A copper etching plate depicting the River Sherbourne, which runs under Coventry city centre.

John Yeadon’s work has been described as pornographic, humorous, political, oppositional, disquieting, difficult, obsessive, unfashionable and mostly going against the grain. The painting featured is from his recent series – Englandia, which is intended to subvert and challenge the myths, preconceptions and contradictions surrounding Englishness and national identity. The series Englandia will be exhibited at Johannstadthall, in Dresden in September 2013, as a reciprocal part of Coventry/Dresden Arts Exchange.

4) Landscape with Pylon (2013), Acrylic and Fluorescent paint on canvass.

Lorsen Camps’ work explores the idea of finding beauty in the disregarded. He is fascinated by things that other people have deemed worthless or have discarded – mostly found or second hand objects. Working with these collections and with photography and writing, Lorsen re-presents the wonder found in the minutiae of life.

5) Conversation (2011), Found float and football on MDF board, from the installation Beauty and the Beach

Matt Boynton’s practice creates simple composite structures that bring about alternative interactions between the infinite number of structures making up the world. Through these interactions, he believes we can become more aware of the inherent opportunities within this ‘dynamic system’ of structures.

6) Untitled – Image of a car park in Coventry, an example of the artist’s perception of the city, in this instance, perceiving the structure in a compositional way.

Theo Wright is a weaver and textile designer with a passionate interest in the structure of woven fabrics, characterised by an analytical and systematic approach inspired by mathematical ideas, textile traditions, and the geometry of the natural world. Theo works closely with the Weavers’ Workshop that promotes the craft of weaving, its use as a creative medium and place in Coventry’s history.

7) Quartet Scarf (detail), handwoven in lambswool.

Alan Van Wijgerden is a video artist and documentary maker. Over the last 3 decades he has methodically recorded the political transformation in Coventry.

8) Two Sisters (still) from a film exploring over 60 years of social and political progression in the West Midlands region though conversations with van Wijgerden’s aunt and mother.

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