Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Sophie Hill of postcardwall

postcardwall is a blog about art, inspired by postcards. I began the blog in 2009, starting with my own collection of postcards gathered from exhibitions and museums across the world. Covering the walls of my university room, the images formed a wallpaper of visual memory. They not only recalled times and places, but that elated feeling of discovery that came with my finding and loving a work of art. After finishing university I decided to start a blog about the collection, uploading a postcard each day and writing about it, the aim being to exhibit the wealth of art available and to inspire people to seek it out.

With postcards found everywhere from large institutions to unknown galleries, postcardwall creates a platform for all kinds of art. Being inclined neither to historical nor contemporary, a Caravaggio may hang alongside a newly graduated student. postcardwall is unbiased, exploring the rich and varied fabric of our artistic history from the ancients up to the present day. I write about each postcard to recall and remember these fleeting and permanent displays. Words are added not to judge, but to elaborate and provoke further interest and discovery. The descriptions are incredibly visual, drawing technique and detail from the work and making each element come alive. Dancing alongside the image, reflecting and refracting both subject and mood, poetic in style, my text provides a harmonious counterpoint to each work.

postcardwall has become something of an artistic resource with over 300 postcards of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, wallpaper and furniture ‘on the wall’. Listed by century and with a search capability that allows you to search on anything from an artist’s name, an artistic movement or just a word, images from around the world can be pulled up alongside one another. Looking for pictures of trees, the results appear across centuries, mediums and artists; visiting a country or city, one can find the works to look out for.

Though the postcards began from my collection gathered over time, they now often mark current exhibitions; uploaded at the beginning of a show to entice readers to visit the real thing. I visit graduate shows every year to draw attention to emerging young talent, and invite artists, or indeed anyone, to send me their favourite postcards as new subjects. The reaction from artists has been great, as they find I depict aspects of their work through my words that deepens appreciation.

postcardwall has been featured twice as an exhibition, at the Mall Galleries to celebrate reaching 300 postcards ‘on the wall’, and at VEGAS Gallery alongside the original works of a selection of artists featured on postcardwall. One of the most wonderful reactions to postcardwall on exhibition was the number of people spurred into memory by seeing a postcard once owned or sent. The fact that the blog stems from a postcard is part of the appeal. There is something accessible in a picture postcard; one can take it away to consider, and later nostalgically remember. They are a means of quick communication, leaving someone a note embellished by a fitting, or simply pleasing, image.

It is the reaction from both followers and artists that keeps me writing. My most rewarding moment so far has been an artist asking if they can use an extract of my blog post on a catalogue promoting a solo exhibition. It was incredible to know that my words had captured someone’s intentions so well that they wanted to use them alongside their work. I also love it when people tell me that they’ve discovered new artists through reading my posts. It’s one of the main aims of the blog and it’s great for the artists.  

I add a new postcard to the wall each week, continuing to build the virtual wall that now holds over 300 images and over 60,000 words of art history and contemporary criticism. I am so pleased postcardwall now has followers from around the world who visit the wall once a week to read my latest post.

My Four Top Blogging Tips

- Don’t be afraid to write how you want to. Part of the wonderful freedom of blogging is that there is no ‘house style’ to which you must confirm; you can have your own voice.
- Write when you feel like it. Words will flow when you’re in the mood – there are no deadlines.
- Link twitter and facebook to your blog, it’s a great way to draw attention to old blog posts that people may have missed.
- Always allow and read comments. It’s invaluable to see reader’s reactions.

To find out more, visit, become a fan on Facebook and follow on Twitter @postcardwall_ 


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