An exciting Mail Art call

Over on the International Union of Mail Artists’ (IUOMA) website, a mail art “call” has recently been posted…

(a call is basically an invitation to mail artists to participate in making and sending mail art to a provided address, for use in a specific exhibition, project, thesis presentation, etcetera. Often there are rules, such as size, or medium, or a theme for the mail art project…)

The call that caught my attention tonight was from one IUOMA member who is “Helping to Start a Permanent exhibition on the most remote and isolated Island on the planet : TRISTAN DA CUNHA”

What a MARVELOUS place to send mail art! Just look at the ADDRESS we all get to use:

Post Office & Philatelic Bureau
Edinburgh of the Seven Seas,
Tristan da Cunha,
TDCU 1ZZ
South Atlantic Ocean 

Have you ever sent mail to a dreamier address than this? Imagine, not even a country but an Ocean for an address! It’s almost as good as sending a letter to Peter Pan (“Second star to the right, and straight on till morning…)

N.B. Tristan da Cunha is part of the group of islands known, collectively, as the “British Overseas Territory of St Helena, Ascencion, and Tristan da Cunha”

There is a settlement, known as The Settlement, and a Post Office on the island. Although they have internet, the Post and the arrival of the mail is still a very important aspect of everyday life. Look at these recent postage stamps…

“Hitting the gong heralds the news that the long-awaited post is ready for collection by Islanders in the Prince Philip Hall.”
“Post Office staff read out recipients of mail, and a family member comes forward to collect it “)

The Mail Art Project is to send some artwork to a permanent exhibition on the Island for the locals who live there, and for all who visit the Island.

No Limitation on Themes, Size, or Number of works. Just send mail art. It’s very different from penpals, or letter writing clubs—you’re not writing a letter, and the point is not to get to know anyone, although after some time friendships are built on a steady backing-and-forthing of mail art.

Best think of it as an open and inclusive art exchange, made possible by the International Postal network, where art has no price tag or monetary value, and money is not a motivating factor at all. For a feel of what mail art is, you can browse Wikipedia’s Mail Art or IUOMA’s Start Here page.

If you’re curious about the mail art scene, this is a great first call to respond to (unfortunately, you probably won’t get mail art back…unless some local gets it in his/her head to reply…well you never know!) and a fantastic address to write to. Imagine the locals looking through what you have sent, and imagine the few visitors to the island enjoying the fact that somewhere in the tiny Post Office there is this exhibition of postal art from around the world.

Go on, make something and send it to the village of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, you know you want to.

P.S. despite the “badge’ and all this talk of membership, anyone can join IUOMA …all welcome, no experience necessary… IUOMA

8 thoughts on “An exciting Mail Art call

  1. That is so cool! I didn’t even know that such a place existed. Off to Google now to read more about Tristan da Cunha. Would love to send something but I can’t draw to save my life. Haha. Looking forward to seeing what you contribute to the exhibition, mi amor. Hugs, and much love. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This brings an interesting brings question to mind.

    My mother, who passed nearly 40 years ago, was a writer, an active member of several international Pen Pal groups. One of her steady contacts was a school teacher whose address was hardly more than Atlantic Ocean, as I recall. While purchasing postage her postal clerk assured her there was no such address. She stood her ground and assured him that someone would be grateful for the letter. Several weeks later a response arrived from the teacher. My mother returned to the post office and educated the clerk. The group had a new subject that had probably been a source of interest before.

    Thanks for such an interesting post.

    Liked by 2 people

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