Astronished: postcard art for the Hunt Museum

In 2006 the Hunt Museum in Limerick had a fundraising event called ‘Hunt the Postcard’ (at the Hunt). Blank postcards were distributed to hundreds of artists, who returned them with art on one side and their name on the other. These were exhibited anonymously over two days, then they were sold, with the proceeds going

to help the disadvantaged communities of the mid-west with a special emphasis on children so that they can visit the Museum and enjoy its varied exhibitions, along with all its educational programmes. [via]

A worthy cause, I’m sure you’ll agree. Last weekend they did it again, and I was delighted to be among the contributing artists (PDF, 60 KB). Ellen from Meet for Real had seen some of my collages at an event she co-hosted on art, business and creativity, and she kindly sent me two blank postcards along with guidelines from the museum. (Otherwise, being infinitely preoccupied, I might not have heard about it.)

One card was for an artist friend of mine; the other was for me to do my worst. When I had finished I decided it wasn’t my worst, after all, so I called it ‘Astronished’, took its photo, and sent it off. The collage fills the postcard; the grey border is just a white page used for contrast when I photographed it:

*

*

You can click to enlarge it. I wonder if it sold, and if it did, who bought it. And why. But this is just idle curiosity. I don’t need to know. (If you’re reading, though, do say hello.) The Hunt Museum’s website has a brief notice about the event, written before last weekend. I will update this post when they release a new report, or if I come across any other relevant information. Questions, comments and criticism are welcome, but I reserve the right to be cryptic or evasive!

17 Responses to Astronished: postcard art for the Hunt Museum

  1. herself says:

    I love the postcard Stan! I want to see more. How about a collection, exhibited in some nice cafe in Galway??

  2. Stan says:

    Herself: Thank you! And perhaps. When I have a more substantial portfolio I’ll consider trying to get a few collages (or other artworks) exhibited somewhere. Time is currently in very short supply, alas.

  3. Sean Jeating says:

    What shall I say? I’d have bought it.
    What about posting some more of your artwork, Stan?

  4. It’s a great idea for fundraising.I like your contribution

  5. A very clever fundraising idea, and good for you for entering into the spirit of things.

  6. Stan says:

    Sean: You’re very kind. I’d like to have attended and bought one myself, but circumstances didn’t allow it. Such variety of miniature art there must have been on those walls! As to my own effort, I might post something else here at a later date.

    Jams: Yes, I thought so too, about the fundraiser I mean. As soon as I heard about it I was enthusiastic, and if I’d had more time I might have made a few!

    Pretty far west: Thank you, and yes, it was a very good idea. It seems like a variation on an old idea, though I couldn’t say for sure.

  7. Ana says:

    Astronished. Love the title! It’s interesting how you managed to make the image dynamic even by placing one of the main figures dead center, possibly because the composition is not symmetrical, -nice. The image seems to me like a fertile cosmos where the fish might stand as metaphors for swimming sperm. It works perfectly. If, -and only if, I had to change anything at all, it might be just to tone down (neutralize) the yellow on the head of the baby just a bit. It’s a nice postcard! -I love the Space theme. You should make more art. Good job!

  8. Stan says:

    Ana: Thank you very much for your thoughts, and welcome to Sentence first! The asymmetry was, as you noticed, a necessary trick, and “fertile cosmos” fits right in with the ideas I was musing upon (e.g. symmetry-breaking in cosmology and biology). The fish might stand for anything, sperm included. At one point I saw them as the moon’s tap-dancing shoes, and it took a while before I could see them as something else! Your suggestion about the colour is good, and appreciated, but the image was cut and pasted unchanged, and I didn’t have time to modify it even if I had noticed the need to.

  9. wisewebwoman says:

    Astonishingly good, Stan for a hurried work. I’d love to see more…
    XO
    WWW

  10. Claudia says:

    I love it, Stan. I love the idea of life, forming itself, little by little, and becoming a baby, on top of the world. It represents exactly what I believe. And in a very powerful manner. Although the art is subtle, and the child has an appealing softness. Many thanks for sharing. I would have been very proud to put this work on my wall.

  11. Stan says:

    WWW: Thank you. It was rather rushed: half-planned one evening, arranged the next. Most of the collages I’ve made are in the form of cards and bookmarks I’ve given away, and I took photos of only a few of them — but I’ll probably upload more, now that I’ve got the ball rolling.

    Claudia: I’m so glad you like it! It was a lot of fun to make. I was also lucky with the materials at hand; they made it easy to be playful with the ideas, without (I hope) seeming to impose any particular world view.

  12. Claudia says:

    Stan – This is the beauty of a work of Art, that it leaves everyone free to interpret it according to one’s feeling and understanding. I’m sure that 10 (or more) people would each see a different concept in Astronished. Even in the title!

    A bit like: Who hears Holst with the same set of ears, and the same soul? I mention Holst because I thought of him, as soon as I saw your tableau, and I put his music on. Thanks for the good time. Again, great work, Stan. :)

  13. Tim says:

    You’re very good at drawing. It is a thought-provoking image, too. The stars appear as souls, swirling around the cosmos. And the underlying image of life coming into being I think is the essence of what it is about. No wonder the moon is so astonished at this astrological occurrence.

    We humans truly do sit on top of the world, though the elements and myriad environments themselves are really masters over us, despite what we think.

  14. Stan says:

    Claudia: Well said. I agree completely. We’re all wired uniquely and will experience the same objects and phenomena differently. Were it not so, we’d all bore each other into submission with our excessive similarity. And here’s a nice coincidence: I too was listening to Holst this weekend!

    Tim: I should clarify: although I can draw, I didn’t draw any of Astronished. It’s a collage, all cut and pasted. Yes, the moon looks astonished, and has many reasons to be! The image comes from Le Voyage dans la lune by Georges Méliès, which I was reminded of recently by NASA’s LCROSS mission.

  15. Anything that links George Méliès and 2001: A Space Odyssey is alright by me! Nicely done, Stan; don’t be shy about posting some more of your work. I’d be interested in seeing it.

  16. Stan says:

    Doubtful: Would you believe, I never even thought of 2001, but I see what you mean — assuming you mean the Star Child!

    Maybe I shouldn’t mention this, but the purple cosmic haze in the background is a tree (with lights), turned through 90º. Funny how context can transform something so familiar. This is one reason I like collage: it allows for a crude but effective alchemy.

  17. […] (Long-time readers may remember some old collages: a cosmic postcard in 2009, a jazzy bookmark in 2010, but neither was really […]

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