Surface Gallery
East Midlands

Written by Rebecca Davies and Caroline McDougall

We went to the private view for ‘The International Postcard Show 2013’ at The Surface Gallery on 15th January. The exhibition consisted of original artworks by established artists, students and newcomers from all over the world.

The variety of work was all unified by the familiar postal size constraint, which made the work so much more exciting. It was interesting to see the different interpretations, some made from an obvious sculptural background, to those made from a simple line drawing. There were collaged pieces, stitched, embossed, photography and some wonderful little paintings. Particularly ‘The Parthenon Frieze‘ by N. Middleton; an incredibly detailed black and white painting that seemed almost photographic like from a distance and worth far more than its £15 capped price. It was evident that there was a huge degree of difference in time spent on the pieces, not that that made them any less appealing to look at; each piece’s own unique style was made at a personal skill level.

It was hard to pick a favourite amongst the massive variety; the contrast of bare minimalism to colourful corner-filling detail made the postcards, as a collection work brilliantly. The exhibition was curated really well so that each piece connected to the ones on either side. For instance, Helen Walsh’s ‘Red Thread’ was seemingly having a conversation on one side with Melanie Ward’s illustrative windmill in ‘The Time We Shared it was Precious to Me’ and with Molly Wragg’s ‘Eleanor Cross’ on the other. We found some of the work somewhat amusing, whether or not it was intentional we’re uncertain, for instance the triptych of flowers bunnies and food, a sweet insight into someone’s life, but perhaps not as skilful as the combination of stitch and collage in Rebecca Dawon’s ‘My Little Hut.’

The atmosphere on the night was fantastic; lively and energetic. A lot of the artists in the show were there as well as other guests and it was a great opportunity to discuss contemporary art and get feedback from the work. The differing interpretations on the pieces and their meanings were interesting to say the least and we thoroughly enjoyed observing the reactions particular pieces caused amongst the varying audiences.

The postcards were all on sale for the public to buy or at the end of the show if the work is unsold, each artist has the option of having their postcard exchanged with another. We both submitted a postcard for the exhibition and are excited at the prospect of receiving someone else’s original artwork. But also the whole random exchange process is such an unassuming but rewarding idea; a sweet conclusion to the whole event.