by Martha Aitchison, Mail Artist
In June the Beckenham Sorting Office hosted a small exhibition, very different from the usual art show. This was an international exhibition of fake postage stamps, made by artists and therefore called Artistamps, to which 53 artists from 18 countries responded.
I organised it in recognition of the contribution made by the postal services to Mail Art, an art movement that started in the 1960’s, consisting in the postal exchange of artwork among artists. It is not known how many of us are involved in this very democratic activity where no work is ever rejected and nothing is ever sold. We mount shows in unusual places; my favourite is my shopping trolley. In the Mail Art universe there are virtual countries and even virtual planets. Most artists have a nickname, or two, and it is all about friendship and fun but opinions are expressed on serious issues as well.
With many Mail Artists now using the Internet for their art exchanges, some of us are fighting to keep alive our dear ‘Snail Mail Art’, as artwork sent by post is affectionately called. My own contribution to the show is a stamp on this subject.
Here are photos of the Shopping Trolley Gallery (STG) and of my stamp, and then of some of the stamps in the show. To see all the Artistamps 2010 Show please visit my web site: www.mailartmartha.org.uk
And follow the shopping trolley around…