Artist Talk : Eleanor Matthews @postart_uk
5 May 2021 @ 12:00 - 13:00
As part of the Correspondence Collective Restriction Exhibiton, this is the fifth in a series of Artist Talks, exploring the lives and practice of artists who use mail art within their work.
Eleanor Matthews is an artist, creative strategist and mum. Since March 2020, she has worked on numerous projects involving sending art works via the postal system to a setting up a street gallery, using people’s homes for display as part of an arts trail for sitcfestival across Seaham and Durham.
As well as working with Spectrum Gallery and Sitcfestival displaying postcard art works in response to the British Museum touring exhibition Pushing Papers, Eleanor has seen her projects boom during the first lockdown and had a great response with artists making postcard size artwork throughout this period.
Her work is now with Durham University Art Collection as part of the project’s legacy and we will be exploring the activity involved with the archiving of this unique moment in time during the talk.
The Correspondence Collective
The Correspondence Collective started as an idea from a postcard-exchange took place between between two artists at the start of lockdown in March 2020; as a way of staying in touch and acknowledging the joy of receiving items in the post.
This swiftly evolved into a growing collection of postal art collaborations. After a couple of months we invited fellow artists to join this creative conversation and so the ‘Correspondence Collective‘ was formed.
Their aim is to keep this growing group of creatives, both local and global, connected through mail art, exhibitions, podcasts and workshops, with the Open call for miniature pieces of artwork inspired by ‘Restriction’ being its first.
The project is led by artist Amanda Lynch in partnership with Clayhill Arts, Somerset and has been funded by Arts Council England
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Working with Deborah and Michael was such a pleasure. They understood the project from the beginning, what the needs of the makers and our audiences would be, and acted as thoughtful ambassadors for the project when we were not able to be there. Every aspect of the exhibition and events was facilitated in such a calm and confident manner, which made my job of coordinating a group of artists so much easier! The whole event became a pivotal moment for the project, bringing people together in a way I could never have anticipated, and which has altered my thinking about the future of the project. Thank you for making us feel so welcome.
The weekend I spent at Clayhill Arts was a very welcome change of scenery to my otherwise urban setting. I felt calmed yet invigorated by the surroundings, and the accommodation was beautifully tasteful and very homely. The main space is wonderfully considered and very versatile - an ideal space for creativity and dynamic discussion. I left on the Sunday feeling energised and inspired by the experience of staying at Clayhill.
As a singer it has been one of the best spaces to sing in with generous reverberation and acoustics. It is a space which complemented the type of instruments I was working with and the songs.
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed being at your venue. It is a lovely and inspiring artistic space. The food was fantastic, homely yet unusual. I really enjoyed the day.
As an artist retreat, the venue at Clayhill Arts provided a warm and welcoming environment, allowing a safe and constructive space where individuals creative needs can be met.
We were lucky enough to be able to take over the whole venue for a weekend, using the Granary as our base for experimentation, discussion and shared learning. The informality of the accommodation, and the relaxed surroundings, put everyone at ease and offered a space where cooperation and encouragement evolved naturally.
Everything was wonderful! This is a beautiful place. Thank you, we really enjoyed our stay.
Clayhill feels remote which is great but it also is close to Cannington which has everything, so supplies can be bought without travelling a great distance...I also really enjoyed that it is still a working farm, because it feels productive and there is such a lot of life around us which is very inspiring