I found a link to the coursera art course on one of the blogs I follow and decided to jump in late. Absolutely loving the online videos in it and with the assignments having a deadline I am far more likely to get around to them!
Week 3's assignment - conversations with memory:
titled "Don't Shut the Door Yet"
This is a mail art project all about how memory is lost - the colour photos becoming black and white and then becoming even less detailed as the drawing progresses down the page(envelope), with the collaged elements such as stamps being the memory prompts that remain.
As a young person, you just assume that memory is eternal and do not think about losing memories.
I collected the stamps off letters (my father collected butterflies hence the butterflies) and now wish I'd collected the letters instead, with all the adventures my parents wrote about.
They lived a lot overseas and so we corresponded a lot by mail as the phone lines were terrible and exorbitantly priced for the garbled communication with terrible echoes. This was pre e-mail/skype etc.
The stamp insert is purposefully blanker in comparison to the letter. It is of an African Lake that we holidayed at and was full of old dead trees and palms.
The colours show my mixed emotions - the warmth of the flame tree and rich African soil versus the black and white of loss.
The thermometer symbolizes the setting of the physical, emotional and spiritual temperatures of my life. Physically , my temperature gauge is definitely set for the tropics as my hands often go white with cold.
Often I received letters that were created by writing on the envelope and then sealing it. The letter was the envelope and so my envelope is the letter - a picture being worth a thousand words.