Postcards from the Pandemic is a collaborative mail art project of over 600 postcards that were created by artists in and around Victoria in the depths of social lockdown created by the Covid 19 pandemic. The project was begun in March 2020 by members of BOXCARSIX Artist Collective to stay connected, distract from the anxiety and boredom of the early days of the pandemic, and get us into the studio to make art. Each of us initiated a series of postcards for another person to add and respond to. Each card was then mailed on to another artist to add to and potentially complete the postcard.
The concept of the project started to circulate on Instagram and among friends, and quickly grew from eight to sixty artists participating. Collaborations have been between just two people, or as many as six. Most cards typically involve three to four artists. This is artistic collaboration with a high degree of risk. Once a postcard is out of your hands you give up control of what happens to it next – and conversely when you start to work on a postcard you have received there is no guarantee that what you add will actually work!
Each card is unique: the roster of artists has been constantly changing, and so the combination of media, imagery and approach used is infinitely variable. Some artists have painted, and used drawing, some have used collage, cutting and even stitch. Most have used a combination of techniques and media, in response to whatever the previous artist
The physicality of the postcards is important, as the cards have gone on a journey geographically and artistically. One of the greatest pleasures of this project has been the anticipation of, and looking forward to, the postal worker arriving. For the past three or so months it has been really exciting to receive a postcard in the mail – and because one member of BC6 is a postal worker, we have heard through them that other postal workers have been noticing and taking delight in delivering the cards.
Each postcard is evidence of the creativity and resilience of the individual artists involved in its creation. Together they are a testament to our ability to reach out to others and create community in challenging times through art.
BOXCARSIX artist collective
We are a group of emerging artists from the Victoria, BC area, who share a feminist, contemporary perspective. We work together to support and challenge each other in our individual practices; develop an audience through exhibitions and residencies; and create opportunities for the local community to engage in creative workshops. Members are: Mary Babineau, Celine Berry, Sarah Cowan, Joanne Hewko, Jessica Jean Kuyper, Fern Long, Clare Thomas and Jenn Wilson.
We utilize a range of mediums and techniques including figurative and abstract painting, drawing, stitch, photography, collage, sculpture and paper-cutting.
Areas of interest include:
response to the social and physical environment in which we live commitment to process, materiality and chance the domestic and public roles we experience memory and the passage of time spatial construct and movement the body, emotions and feelings.
Since 2019 we have expanded our collective practice to build large scale collaborative pieces allowing these many viewpoints to coalesce into a single shared vision.
Gallery Guidelines in response to COVID 19
· Only one visitor or household allowed in the gallery at a time. Please observe physical distancing while inside the gallery.
· Visitors are asked to wait outside until the gallery sitter opens the door for them or waves them in.
· Touchpoints are cleaned between visitors.
· If you have cold or flu symptoms do not enter the gallery. You can find images and info about our current programming on our website thefiftyfifty.net, Instagram @thefiftyfiftyartscollective, and Facebook The fifty fifty arts collective