Postcards Project COVID19

Post Card Project 2020

April 2020. Second month of CO VID-19. Everyone in Melbourne was working from home. The City was empty. We were asked to keep our distance from our friends and family members. Galleries closed, exhibitions were postponed or cancelled. Jobs were lost.

Zoom was the new normal. Australia Post was working brilliantly so I thought I could use the mail to connect family and friends in an art project. I thought it would be fun to send postcards to people and have them alter the card. My aim was a combination of social and creative solidarity. Altering the postcards of familiar book titles, was a gentle act of defiance, playfully subverting the classics.

I sent an email to people outlining the project. I would send them a postcard and have them alter the card and send it back. I would then scan the altered postcard and send it onto someone else. Each card would be altered three times. The changes that were made to the postcards would also be a reflection of what was happening in the world under CO VID-19. The postcards were taken from a collection of Puffin Book covers.

The response was overwhelming – people wanted to be part of the project, a great way to connect to other people using the post. I didn’t let people know who else was involved in the project. All was going to be revealed once the project was completed.

I sent cards overseas and interstate. I planned to send out the second round by the end of May. The postal service was being overwhelmed with people having parcels and small items sent via Australia Post. Online shopping was the new normal. The majority of cards started coming back. By the start of June the kinks started to appear. Overseas post was slower due to the reduced number of planes arriving in Australia. People were dropping out due to work commitments or personal issues.

August 2020 we went into Stage 4 lockdown. I had a few more people drop out. It was getting harder for some people to commit. I extended the deadline for the last postcard to be completed to the 5th September 2020 and then again to the end of October.

Postcards were scanned. I assembled a catalogue that showcased all their efforts. I would like to acknowledge all the participants. I hope they are happy with the result and hope they will share the project with friends and family.

My deepest thanks to everyone.

Beatrice Magalotti