Mail Art re-designed
The Pirkanmaa design, arts and crafts association Modus ry’s exhibition Mail Art re-designed broadens the view of the materials used in mail art and the involvement of designers and artisans in the art form.
Creativity is the limit in mail art: the exhibition shows that materials such as leather, recycled denim, embroidery thread, wool, old Finnish coins and deer hair can be used to make unique works of art that can be sent by post.
What is mail art?
Mail artists send each other messages, small works of art, drawings, statements and images. All works are sent through the postal services. The original idea was that the work should not be more valuable than the envelope in which it was sent. Often the work was a postcard made by an artist with a postage stamp. Modern technology is now used both in the works of art and the means of delivery.
Anyone can create works of mail art, and anyone can also initiate a project to set up a mail art exhibition or event. All of the works that are submitted to a project are usually displayed. There is no fee for participating in mail art projects and works cannot be bought or sold. The exhibition organiser usually sends to those participating a list of participants in the project, which is sometimes a modest hand-out, sometimes a printed exhibition catalogue.
Mail art originated in Central Europe in the early 1960s, where the Fluxus movement of experimental art was founded. Mail art has also been influenced by Dadaism and Surrealism. Mail art arrived in Finland in the late 1960s and the early 1970s . Finnish pioneers of mail art included Ilkka-Juhani Takalo-Eskola, Arto Kytöhonka and J.O. Mallander.
The Pirkanmaa design, arts and crafts association Modus ry was founded in Tampere in 2001. It is an association of designers, artisans and industrial art professionals. The Mail art redesigned exhibition is part of the international MailArt4Seniors project funded by Erasmus+.