Opening today is Keep Me Posted the inaugural exhibition of POSTED – a temporary exhibition space in a former post office in East London, which is directed and curated by Julia Royse. This show launches POSTED as a platform for a series of art exhibitions, performances, screenings and workshops celebrating the ‘post’ and exploring our postal heritage.
POSTED - an exhibition space in a former post office in Hackney
The General Post Office used to be a powerful and important institution in Britain and, with postman delivering mail up to 8 times a day, it was relied upon to make same day appointments as well as communicating the usual news and views.
Mail art on display
In 1902 the postcard appeared and was hugely popular as a quick and cheap method of sending announcements and thoughts and coined the phrase “I’ll be post carding you”. Today there are many artists who use postcards, stamps, stationery and letters in their work as well as those that use the postal service as part of the creative process either by writing letters, or sending artworks by mail.
George Bernard Shaw once said, “The perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post”. We still enjoy poring over old letters examining the style and idiosyncrasies of handwriting and the choice of stationery however today we are less inclined to communicate through letters and cards. As texts and email are currently the most popular means of communication and many schools now use computers instead of pen and paper, one wonders what will happen to our handwriting skills over the forthcoming decades and there must be many young people today who have never experienced communication by post.
The exhibitions presented at POSTED will hopefully inspire people to put pen to paper again as well as reminding us of a time when communication was more personal and less generic.
The post office counter reimagined
Keep Me Posted is an exhibition of newly commissioned and loaned artwork, in a variety of disciplines, by established and emerging artists including Andreas Blank, Claire Brewster, Jo Broughton, Oliver Clegg, Julie Cockburn, Adam Dix, Sean Dower, Tracey Emin, Angus Fairhurst, Tom Gidley, Cate Halpin, Susie Hamilton, Rachel Howard, Duncan MacAskill, Polly Morgan, Julia Riddiough, Liisa Roberts, Jane Simpson, James White, Rachel Whiteread and Miyo Yoshido
Keep Me Posted runs until 26 September at 67 Wilton Way, London E8 1BG. The exhibition is open Thursday to Sunday, 11am – 5pm, or else by appointment. Keep Me Posted is part of London 2010: Festival of Stamps.