Mail art is a process via which you assume a new identity and send art through a secret contact list in the Royal Mail postal system. It is through Mail Art that I first began to experiment with textiles and their ability to provide a fun narrative or a childhood enjoyment. I recall when I was younger sitting in on stormy days making making puppets out of my dad’s socks, I realised that these would be relatively easy to send via post and fun to play with. As the correspondences grew and grew throughout the network I began to give the characters I created human qualities. Illness and instructions on how to care for them, allergies, favourite activities etc. I was fast to identify that this process was not just about the enjoyment of what I was producing but the method through which I was achieving it. Learning to use a sewing machine and planning how to create the desired creature became a fun time consuming act and I started to consider scale. What would happen if I made a giant sock rabbit? I hurried around gathering as many white socks as i could and started to form a giant sock rabbit with the added help of a little felt and some chicken wire to help it keep it’s shape and hey presto I had one giant, fully functional sock rabbit!
Whilst producing this giant I also continued to make the small toys too, but I had to figure out how to display all the mail art I had received. I decided to run with the theme of fun but to also consider the history of mail in transit. It soon dawned on me that carrier pigeon’s were my solution. However due to my disliking of the creatures I couldn’t get real ones so instead had to settle for some decoy pigeons rigged up with sound. I feel this added to the surreal experience my work offered as whilst these pigeons had all the features of their feather friends they would never be able to take flight.