Closing Party of ‘The Exchange: Connecting Culture, Creativity and Community’
The Exchange is a community engaged art project that took place in the City Space at Winchester Discovery Centre from 23 May to 5 July, led by artists Orah Bradshaw and myself, Noriko Susuki-Bosco. .
The idea for the project came from a postcard mail art exchange that started between Orah and myself when I moved to Singapore with my family in 2007. We re-exchanged the body of ‘correspondence’ art works that accumulated over the years when I returned to Winchester in 2013. We wanted to share our personal mail art experience with a wider community and the idea for The Exchange was developed.
During the exhibition, we invited the general public in and around Winchester as well as overseas participants to create postcard art works that shared their experience of living in their community. Hundreds of postcards were created by the public and displayed in the gallery space to create the path of the labyrinth mizmaze, a popular landmark of Winchester.
We also organized workshops to welcome various community groups in Winchester to come and create postcard art works. The groups were introduced to mindfulness and visualization techniques to tap into their inner creativity and to engage in a session of postcard making. There was always great enthusiasm shared in the process of making, resulting in beautifully original postcard art works that were added to the ever-growing colourful display in the gallery space.
On the last day of the exhibition, we organized a Closing Tea Party where everyone who took part in the project was invited to come back, enjoy the homemade cakes and take home a postcard art work that someone else had created from the wall display. The atmosphere during the Closing Tea Party was friendly and fun and everyone who came looked at the display of the postcards intently for the very last time, carefully choosing a postcard they wanted to take home with them. It is nice to think that the exhibition lives on in other people’s homes and that the postcards have an afterlife beyond the exhibition space.
We have been told that more than 1,700 people visited the exhibition over the six weeks! We are pleased that our aim of ‘connecting culture, creativity and community’ had been achieved through the active participation of the community in the creative act of making and sharing the postcards with others. We are very happy and grateful for the support we received by everyone who took part in our community art project.
Noriko Suzuki-Bosco, July 2015.
You can find postcard art resources in the Library at 741.683. We also have some of Noriko’s Artists’ Books, in our Artist Book Collection in Library 2.