Art & Photography / Who, What, Why

Mail Art: All the World's a Sunny Day

A new exhibition by artist Roy Voss reminds us of the power of the postcard

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Roy Voss, Leave
Roy Voss, LeaveCourtesy of the artist and Matt's Gallery, London

Who? British artist Roy Voss frequently explores the relationship between text and landscape imagery – usually on a vast, wanderlust-inducing scale – using words as a clever means of distorting or enhancing the meaning and interpretation of the imagery.

What? In his latest series, currently on display at Matt's Gallery in east London, Voss expands upon this theme but on a smaller, more intimate scale, using found vintage postcards as his starting point. For each piece, he cuts out one handwritten word from the back of the postcard and inserts it into the picture on the front. The words are carefully selected, always serving to describe something of the image, thereby characterising an emotional state within it. The results are moving, often evoking an open narrative, while the bright, saturated colours in the prints – sapphire blue skies, pea green fields, scarlet jumpers – make for captivating viewing.

Why? Here at AnOther, we're big fans of the humble postcard, and are determined not to let it fall by the wayside in the face of email domination. Voss' exhibition is a great reminder of its poignancy and uniqueness as a means of communicating. As the gallery's introduction notes, "In an age of super-speed microchip communication, there is something melancholic about the brief, blue biro messages. There is also tenderness and an attempt at intimacy; a postcard is both intensely personal and private, but available for any number of people to look at and read."

All the World’s a Sunny Day is at Matt's Gallery until March 8.

Words by Daisy Woodward

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