Original Postcard Sized Artwork by Emerging European Artists. A Publication Exploring Place, Culture and Individual Creative Practices
Postcards From Europe is: Rosie Gainsborough Lucy Biddle Katrina Currie Chloe Bryon Book Design: Katrina Currie Text: Lucy Biddle Illustration: Rosie Gainsborough Contact: email@example.com Website: www.postcardsfromeurope.org
Interviews Features 4/5
20/22 Alice Pattullo
23/25 Olivia Glasser
10/15 Riitta Ikonen
26/27 Andra Baban
16/18 Anthony Zinosos
28/29 Emanuela Santini
Postcards 30 Isabel Greenberg
42 Giacomo Bagnara
54 Soo Choi
31 Elena Xausa
43 Bratistlav Milenkovic
55 Javier Jaen & Andreu Meixide
32 Amy Ellis
44 Abel Jimenez
33 Andrea Manzati
45 Tim Romanowsky
34 Anna Maguire
46 Sergio Jimenez
35 Elena Iezzi
47 Ricardo Cavolo
36 Ines Brands
48 Ece Gokalp
37 Bethan Lloyd Worthington
49 Maria Corte Maidagan
38 Milly Freeman
50 Alexander Schmidt
39 Oliver Udy
51 Cesar Barcelo
40 Amelie Fontaine
52 Eleftheria Alexandri
56 Pablo Lacruz 57 Tom Edwards 58 Peter Willis 59 Benjamin Phillips
41 Dylan Spencer-Davidson 53 Ben Javens
In May 2011 four young artists and producers came together to form the design collective ‘Portmanteau’. For their first venture together they embarked on a pan-European art project. Through blogs, social networks, creative forums, and universities they invited emerging artists and designers to create a piece of work responding to the place in which they lived and worked. The work had to express something interesting and real about their relationship to their environment. The only other limitation was the size – 120mm x 170mm – the size of the average postcard. In this project they hoped to create links between different countries, to share and learn from other people’s experiences, to encourage international collaboration, and to explore what it means to be a young artist in different corners of the world. The result is an exhibition of original, skilled, and thoughtful work selected from over 100 emerging artists from across Europe, a website featuring selected postcards and profiles for each of the participating artists, and this publication. It was a privilege to receive the work of such a talented group of individuals, and, in doing so, to get a glimpse into the lives and working practices of Europe’s emerging artists and designers.
The majority of participants in the Postcards from Europe project are at the beginnings of their creative careers. Being a young artist can be a tricky business. We wanted to find out how artists at different stages of their careers have weathered some of the challenges. We talked with established creative practitioners whose work we felt reflected the themes and spirit of our project. These artists include Sophia Martineck, a talented German illustrator with many international clients; Mark Lazenby, an illustrator who balances his independent work with the role of art director at a high profile design magazine; Anthony Zinosos, one part of the international collective â€˜We Are Fucking Awesomeâ€™; and Riitta Ikonen, all-round creative innovator, responsible for another remarkable post-art project. We hope the work and experiences of these varied and talented artists will be informative, encouraging and inspiring.
Sophia Martineck is an illustrator who lives and
works in Berlin. From 2001 to 2007 she studied Illustration at the University of the Arts, Berlin, during which time she spent semesters abroad, in both New York City and in Liverpool. Since graduating, Sophia has been working as a freelance illustrator and designer. Her clients include The New York Times, The Guardian and Crafts magazine. In 2010 she was awarded the Art Directors Club Young Guns, an award that seeks to identify the brightest young professionals across myriad creative disciplines. We talked to her about studying abroad, working internationally, and about her creative aspirations.
R.S.V.P. paper shop. And I’d take you on a bike trip. Do you feel that you manage to maintain a balance of commercial work and independent projects? Would you like to do more of either? I love working for clients. I love getting a brief, creating an idea, talking to the Art Director, the process of ideas going back and forth, and then the final design. I love being challenged and it’s always great having someone to talk to and someone to do it for. I also enjoy doing personal work, and collaborating with small independent projects. I think I’ve got a good balance.
On your blog you mention a recent visit to Cambridge, UK, and include some great illustrations done there. Do you travel a lot, and is this imporYou currently live in Berlin, a tant for your work? Where was city that has a reputation for the last place that you sent a having a very large artistic postcard from? community, and a vibrant I travel a couple of times a year. I creative scene. What is your experience of living in this city? love it. Usually I visit friends, but often my trips are also businessIs it a good place to live as an related. I hardly ever go on a illustrator? ‘holiday-holiday’. The last postcard Berlin is spacious and I sent was probably from affordable – which allows me to Cambridge. When I come back do personal as well as commerfrom a trip I draw the things I cial work. The great thing about You spent some time as an remember the most. the large artistic environment is exchange student at Hunter being able to meet other artists. College in New York City, and some time studying illustration There are lots of little art spaces Tell us about your most and galleries that hold exhibitions ambitious piece of work as an in Liverpool, UK. How did you illustrator (either a personal benefit from living and studying and events. A print festival took place in an old municipal pool in project, or a commission). in these different places? Did my neighbourhood a few weeks The village panorama: It took me these new environments have three months to finish it and it’s ago. an impact on your work? the largest piece (81 cm wide x 59 Studying abroad was very cm high) I have ever made. beneficial for my self-confidence. I If we came to visit, where would you take us? grew as a person and To the Museum der Dinge (Muse- You recently won the ADC subsequently as an artist. Art um of Things). That’s a wonderful Young Guns award, an award comes in handy when you are little place with all sorts of stuff. To that celebrates the ‘brightest tongue-tied. When I studied in young professionals across the Neurotitan bookshop and the Liverpool, I fell in love with Eric myriad creative disciplines’. Tell us about your creative background. When I was little I drew hundreds of little mushroom houses inhabited by mice. My parents had a Hieronymus Bosch book that I was scared of but thrilled by. As a teenager, I produced mainly cubistic fantasy paintings and ceramics. I had no idea you could do illustration for a living until I went to university. That was in 2001.
Ravilious’ and Edward Bawden’s work.
SOPHIA MARTINECK Berlin, Germany
Postcards from Europe submission: My postcard shows what Berliners enjoy most; bicycles and coffee. Could you tell us about that experience? The Young Guns Award was the one that brought me the most attention. The people at ADC do a fantastic publicity job. I was featured in magazines (for example, the Taiwanese magazine DPI and the German PAGE magazine). I went to NYC to pick up my award and it was great to meet the other Young Guns. We have asked a lot of the participants about their European heritage, and whether where they are from influences their work. Does your German background influence you?
I suppose German precision plays some kind of part in my work.
with another artist, on either a personal project or a professional brief? Do you Where do you do most of have an ideal collaborator that your creating? At home? In a you would like to work with? studio? Can you describe your SPRING is a group of female working environment for us? artists I have been part of for I work from home one-metrenearly two years now and I love it. square table. I used to have a big It’s great to work on one theme one but I got rid of it because I co- together and publish a magazine used it as a book shelf. I’ve never and have a big show every year. worked in a studio. That’s because And we meet up to talk about I secretly nap in the afternoons. ideas and also personal stuff. All members are professional illustraWhat three things couldn’t you tors and/or comic artists. There’s live or create without? a great vibe. Coffee, deadlines and audio books. Finally, what’s next for you? The new SPRING edition for next Have you ever collaborated year. 5
Collage artist Mark Lazenby lives and works in London. His illustrations are regularly featured in The Guardian, The Independent, Vogue, and The Times. He is also the Art Director of design magazine ‘World of Interiors’. Mark has been described by his own hero, Sir Peter Blake, as ‘a collagist in the best tradition of collage-making, via Kurt Schwitters and Joseph Cornell’. We talked to him about his work and his inspirations.
and connection with it. I also used to get frustrated with how long it would take me to create a piece. Collage, once the idea is formed, can be so quick. I also think that some of it stems from my collecting. As soon as I could walk, I used to carry around a bag filling Collage seems to be a popular it with the things I liked. This is still true today - I’m still always on medium at the moment. Do the look out for the perfect piece you have any thoughts on this of rubbish or treasure. I enjoy the upsurge of popularity? randomness, juxtaposition and To be honest I’m not really sure, mistakes that you get with collage but I think that with so much of our time being spent on computers and found imagery. and other digital equipment people How do you select imagery for have a need to make things your work? Are there certain by hand, and collage is so tactile images, or time periods, that and immediate. There has also you find particularly inspiring been a real increase in all forms for your collages? of craft over the last few years. I also think that collage works have It’s all to do with the quality and feel of what I find, the right been made much more available recently by exhibitions, books and texture of paper or some delightful the internet, so the medium is be- misregistered old 4 colour printing valued and seen as a legitimate ing. I have a vast collection of old art-form, rather than a poor cousin paper, books and prints. I love old postcards, sheet music, record or children’s plaything. sleeves, posters, engravings etc. I also love anything printed in You use lots of found imagery in your work. Have you a cheap, unselfconscious kind always made work using found of way, such as fruit crates and imagery, and is there a reason boxes. for this? Your collages are often named I used to draw and paint as I explored things, but then I discovered after poems or poets (for example Samuel Beckett poem collage and just had a real affinity Tell us about your creative background. MA Communication Art & Design - RCA BA Graphic Design/illustration – Bath Kunst Buch Schule - Leipzig.
and Friday’s Child, W H Auden). Please tell us about your literary influences – if any. Is there something about poetry that you find invites an artistic response? Most of my work starts with words (and often I’ll include text in my work). I especially like poetry for it’s visual vividity, and conciseness, but also its openness to multiple meanings. I suppose it works in the same way as collage in the building of layers and revealing of themes. Certain elements will jump out straight away whereas other details will reveal themselves over time or be hidden away entirely. Poets and writers I really admire include Robert Walser, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Oscar Wilde (especially his short stories - the Happy Prince etc) Hermann Hesse, Albert Camus, Paul Auster, Peter Carey as well as the two others you have already mentioned. Your work has been linked with Kurt Schwitters and Joseph Cornell. Who or what are your other influences or inspirations? I love the work of most of the British Pop artists: Peter Blake (he’s a real hero of mine), Joe Tilson, Eduardo Paolozzi, Peter
MARK LAZENBY London, UK
Synaesthesia – The Globe & Mail Canada
Phillips. Also Cy Twombly, Miro (collages especially), Basquiat, John Steazaker, Wayne White. Designers like Abram Games, McKnight Kauffer. Other illustrators and designers working today - Brian Grimwood, Liam Stevens, Robert Nicol, Christopher Wilson, John Gall, Andrew Diprose… the list could go on and on.
Cobb, suggested I go to WOI. I got an illustration to do there and then, and also told them I was a freelance designer. Six months later I got a call offering me a week’s freelance work in the art deptartment. I am still there now - as the Art Director. I am very blessed that the Editor, Rupert Thomas, gave me the chance to do the job, as I had no particular Art Director Tell us about your involveHave you found it difficult to experience. The magazine is wonment with ‘World of Interiors’ sustain yourself through your derful and I love every minute of it. (WOI). What does your role of creative work alone? art director entail, and how do I am in charge of the overall design Short honest answer… yes. It’s you balance this role alongside of editorial page layouts as well as taken me years to get a balance commissioning illustration. I work your freelance work as an of work that pays that I really enjoy artist? with two other brilliant designers: and which still allows me to explore I was taking my illustration portfolio Liam Stevens and Simon Witham. and do my collage. My illustration and my role at around London after the Royal College and one of my tutors, Tony Interiors are two very different What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far? I think finding my way at the beginning when I didn’t know how to apply what I learnt, or where to start. My family has always been really encouraging, supportive and unquestioning.
things which I keep very separate. I think that working as a designer and illustrator, both producing and commissioning illustrations, gives me a good understanding and perspective on how to do things and not do things.
I love that your work has a life of its own on the internet.
Do you think that using the internet and social media affects the way that you communicate with clients? Has it enabled you to reach a wider audience with your work? When I first began it was all about getting into places with your portfolio, but now the internet has opened up the whole world. I love that your work has a life of its own on the internet. I do miss face-to-face interaction though, as I rarely get to meet the people I work for, but you can still build an understanding and relationship with email and phone. Hopefully I will meet some of them one day. We noticed a collaborative piece in your portfolio (‘Pic 1992’, produced with Liz Cohn). Do you often collaborate with other artists? Did you learn anything particular through this process? I often collaborate with other designers for projects but not really for illustration. Collaborating with Liz on the collages was a first for me. Working with others always sharpens you up and teaches you new things. Has where you have lived impacted upon your work? I’ve nearly always lived on the edge of London, in Hertfordshire, in a place called Bushey. I grew up here and really enjoy the area, its history and my memories. I think, for me, it’s really important to have a strong connection and sense of belonging to a place, and I’m sure it impacts on my work. Bushey has a rich heritage of artists, the most famous being Hubert Von Herkomer who was a prominent painter, film maker and innovator during the mid 1800’s and early 1900’s. I have also lived in Bath, and in Leipzig in Germany, and have wonderful memories of both. I am not saying I wouldn’t like to live and work in other places, New York or rural Cornwall for instance (what a juxtaposition!), but I am happy where I am. Do you like to travel? Where was the last place you sent a postcard from? I love travelling and would dearly like to have more time & finances to do it. My last postcard was sent from Lyme Regis. Finally, what’s next for you? Who knows… more of the same, and, I hope, more of the different!
Gap Year illustration, Independent
RIITTA IKONEN London, UK
Portrait. Photography by Perttu Saksa
Riitta Ikonen completed a BA in Illustration at Brighton University before taking an MA in Communication and Design at the Royal College of Art. She has recently worked for the Tate (creating a massive game of ‘Chinese Whispers’ using a walking tape recorder and life-size pad of paper) and, with design collective ‘We Made That’, put forward proposals for the Olympic Games site. We talk with her about working abroad, her literary inspirations and working at McDonalds. First of all, it seems to us that there is quite a lot of crossover between the roles of ‘illustrator’, ‘designer’ and ‘artist’ in the creative industries. What do these terms mean to you – and what do you call yourself – if anything? I don’t mind being called an ‘artist’, but guess I could be any number of titles depending on the project at hand. People sometimes add a little something to my ‘artist’ title to make it more poignant. ‘Artistdesigner’ has been around a few times. Illustrator is a nice title too. Illuminator - like Terminator with enlightening powers. I tell myself no one is going to care what you call yourself if the work is good.
Is photography something you have had to learn in order to successfully communicate your ideas or is it something that comes naturally? I work with photographers and I am learning from them as we go along, but as I’m often in front of the camera I have to mainly concentrate on not blinking.
Your work depends a lot upon photography, and you’ve worked on a few short films.
Would you like to collaborate with an author in the future? That would be great, sure. Maybe
You did some interesting work based on Miranda July’s book of short stories ‘No One Belongs Here More Than You’ while you were at the Royal College of Art. July’s idiosyncratic storytelling style seems like a great match for your offbeat costumes and artistic explorations. Are you Who or what are (some of) inspired by the relationship your main influences or between text and image? inspirations? I am yes. Especially Miranda’s Temple Grandin, Ian Wright, fruity text. I edited a version of the Neutrinos, Bjork, great cities, great book for myself when I was at it woods, washed ashore and found last time and it is scribbled full of rubbish, advanced style, Dolly Par- future works... there are plenty of ton, Veli Granö, Snøhetta, change images still to be done with and of location, Bernard Rudofsky... from that book.
collaborations with authors of some scientific studies would be nice. Oceanographers, psychotherapists, doctors notes illustrator? Real people. You’ve spent a lot of time studying in Britain. Do you think Finnish and British senses of humour are similar? I do... plus Finnish humour is nicely honest and deadpan. And do you think that humour plays an important role in your work? Absolutely. It’s healthy to be able to laugh at oneself. You completed a BA in Illustration at Brighton University. What do you think that you learnt on this course? What skills or approaches have you carried through to your current working practice? I learned to trust and concentrate on my instincts. Other people’s expectations are something else. Our year group worked as a great team and benefited from nice, healthy, supportive, competition.
Riitta Ikonen - Mail Art Project (2004 - Ongoing) Ongoing project between Riitta and her tutor Margaret Huber. Riitta sent over 150 postcards from all over the world including fishing line and hooks, pens from Brooklyn rooftops, wood from Fragrance Lake, WA and Chinatown seeds..
Tell us about your time at the RCA. How did your work develop here from your work at Brighton? RCA was the justifying years and the beefing up of balls. Answering your previous question: if you do a course called ‘Communication Art and Design’, no one gets hung up on your working title...
very lucky to be doing what I am doing. Ambition and pressure are good anchors. I like working under pressure. If I feel very adrift I try to enjoy the adrifting...it could be fun. A little creative misery can be good for you. Though obviously sometimes very frustrating, it’s alright not to always be open. It’s crucial to remember to holiday/ take breaks/pub.
force, of your work. How does this balance with making a living from your art? Fun is good. Could I cheesily say: Making your life your art – rather than living from your art? If I don’t like what I am doing I’m sure there’s something I can do to make the task at hand worthwhile. Some jobs are more exciting than others of course, but any job is What three things couldn’t you potentially exciting - or at least We loved the ‘If you could live or create without? educational if nothing else. Maybe collaborate’ project run by Health. And... A window? Handthis is an attitude thing? eye coordination is quite important, ‘It’s Nice That’, where you col- I’ve had some memorable times but I guess I could live without it... laborated with artist Ian Wright. back in the day selling sausages Could you tell us about this Enthusiasm? Motivation? at football games, balloons on May project? Day, wrapping gifts, working at a Could you tell us a bit about liquorice/butter/rose bouquet facyour creative process – for tory, as a shoe shop salesperson, example, what do you do from McDonald’s waitress, weddings reading a brief to realising the caterer, Cadbury’s staff, art school finished piece? Are drawings teacher, art installer, workshops ever a part of your creative leader, night time gas station atprocess? tendant, TV dis-assembler, A little creative misery I usually scribble on the brief while costume maker, cloakroom staff, can be good for you. reading it over a couple of times, deli-sandwich maker, in-whipper, put it aside and carry on with au pair, bust model, etc. Funny things or forget about it. Somejobs where I’ve met some incredtimes it’s easy from the beginning, ible people along the years. sometimes the picture is not so clear... But it’s good to go on as How have you found the usual, with the brief in the back transition from student to Many lovely lunches just thinkof the head. Things eventually professional artist, and what accumulate onto the brief like flies ing, talking and peoplewatching. advice would you give to any The process was very much the to a fly glue trap in a cow house. young artists making that tranproject. Marvelling at all kinds of Then you make sense of it during sition now? a calm moment on a train or such. slow revolving things without pres- Persevere. Do less – better. Talk sure to produce. Treasure beach Start planning the collaborators, to people. Go to private views, it is scavenging trips were a bonus. materials, budgets, transports, part of your job. Relax. Work hard. partners etc. Once there’s an idea, They told me at McDonald’s that How did it feel to work closely the most important thing to do is or an avenue to pursue, the rest with another artist on a shared to smile - it’s partly true. Listen will follow alright. project? to ‘A History of the World in 100 Brilliant. Unpredictable. Double You seem to enjoy new Objects’ and read. the force. challenges and new ways of working, and seem lucky Do you think that using the Who is the next person you’d enough to be involved in lots internet and social media of interesting projects. Despite like to collaborate with? affects the way that you this, are there times when you Bjork. Hillary Clinton. communicate with clients? Has feel adrift as a creator? If so, it enabled you to reach a wider Fun seems to be a major what anchors you again? audience with your work? component, and a driving I try to remind myself that I am I never got into ‘doing’ social 14
Snowflake - Finland 2007 Photography: Anni Koponen
media. My work website has been enough so far. We have asked a lot of the participants about their European heritage, and whether where they are from influences their work. Does your Finnish background influence you? Are you inspired by your cultural heritage i.e. folklore, language or music? It has been some ten English years now, so it is time I am making an exit west. My Finnish language is crumbling away, but the very Finnish Sisu (certain guts/ perseverance) lives strong in me. I am very proud to be Finnish. Like most forest-going Finns I have always carried a knife everywhere I go (purely for work - you never
know what kind of useful things one might find around). This was until last month when the vigilant door staff at the National History Museum found the knife in my bag and told me it was illegal in this country and that they would have to call the police... Finally, do you have any creative aspirations, or things that you’d like to try that you haven’t tackled before – for example, working on stage sets or designing and making costumes for theatres? I’d like to: get working at the gallery in NY, work with a tourist board, do the NY times mag front cover, street costumes with seniors, large scale land art, learn how to weld, work with Dolly Parton.
And what’s next for you? Gallery in the US (pending visa). I’m taking down the amazing Reddress by Aamu Song at York Hall in London later today, working at the Serpentine Gallery for Susan Hefuna’s action next week, Frieze art fair mid-October, I’m running a field trip workshop with Ian Wright in October, and building a new studio in Hackney.
Born in South Africa, bred in Cyprus, currently based in Norwich, UK, artist/illustrator Anthony Zinosos is one part of the international design collective ‘We Are Fucking Awesome’ (WAFA). In Norwich Anthony shares a studio with his fiancée (artist Gemma Correll) and his dog (Mr Pickles). We talked to him about the importance of international collaboration, coffee, and car-boot sales.
Tell us about your creative background. I grew up reading MAD magazine and looking at National Geographics. My father is a keen photographer so was happy to show me where the film goes and how to read a light meter. I did a foundation course at Norwich School of Art and Design, followed by a photography course in Greece, then back to Norwich to do a degree in Printmaking and Photo-media, where I dabbled in photography, print, animation and collage. You work predominantly in collage. What is it about this medium that appeals to you? The love of found paper and images - being able to work hands on with cheap and/or delicate materials, using something old to create something new and just the DIY punk-ness of it all. Tell us about your involvement with the ‘We Are Fucking Awesome’ collective. I’ve been a proud member of the WAFA family for the last 3 years. WAFA is an international artists’ collective. Our focus is on creating collaborative projects - united by these collaborations, we inspire one another and share not only artwork but ideas and thoughts about our experiences of work and 16
life in the different countries that we live in.
found it tough to sustain yourself through your creative work alone? Why do you think it is For the first two years after important to work with other graduating I worked part time as a people on creative projects? cake-baker before going full-time Not only do you learn about other as a freelancer. I found that this artists’ thoughts and processes, gave me some time to develop my but often you’ll also end up learn- work and style and unlearn some ing about your own. It encourages of the things that I ‘learned’ at art you to let go of your own work and school. Some months are quiet let someone else react to it, or and financially tough but its all part take charge of it, and in the of the process and learning not to process give it a new meaning. panic and to take advantage of the The art world can sometimes seem time you have to explore and learn. like a somewhat cold and pretentious place, so its always refreshWhere do you do most of your ing to connect with like-minded work? At home? At the studio? people who you can be honest and Can you describe this space open with, in a down-to-earth and for us? friendly context. I work from home. My fiancée (Gemma Correll) and I share a What has been your studio space so it’s great to have favourite WAFA project to work her and our dog, Mr Pickles, as on? company. It’s also amazing having Recently I’ve really enjoyed someone to be able to bounce ideworking in the journals that we as off and get an honest opinion have been creating as a collabora- from. Our music tastes sometimes tive mail-art project - it’s great clash but other than that it all runs having something in your hands smoothly, we’re both a bit messy that other members have but I like to think of it as organised physically worked on and chaos. My side of the studio has responded to, especially in this all the books, magazines and increasingly digital-based art world. paper goods piled and stacked all over the place. How did you find making the transition from being a student What three things (in your to being a full-time studio) couldn’t you do withfreelancer? Have you ever out?
Postcards from Europe submission: ‘Its Pretty Flat Around Here’ (2011)
ANTHONY ZINOSOS Norwich, UK
Scissors, UHU and my pug, Mr Pickles.
You live in Norwich at the moment. Where else have you lived? Did/do these places What do you do from reading impact upon your work? a brief to achieving the final I was born in South Africa, spent outcome? my high school years in Cyprus, A bit of research, a bit of studied photography in Greece coffee, some scratching around and recently sold everything and in books and magazines for the moved to Germany – that didn’t images that I have in mind, hope- really work out, so we moved fully finding the images, some back to Norwich. My surroundings cutting, sticking, scanning, a bit of definitely affect my work – it just happens subconsciously. definitely affect my work – it
My surroundings just happens subconsciously.
Photoshop fiddling, then send the roughs off to the client. Hopefully the client is happy with the work. Clean images up a bit, make sure there are no dog hairs that I’ve accidentally scanned in, last minute changes, bit more Photoshop fiddling, then send off the finals and hope that they look good in print. What are your main objectives when creating an illustration? How do you judge the success of a piece? Be smart and direct but not obvious. I also try and keep it simple and not over worked. Do you think that it is important to do personal work as well as commercial work? Definitely! Personal work keeps you challenging yourself and experimenting. Commercial work can get a bit monotonous sometimes so it’s always good to step away from it and create things just for yourself. Also I find it’s the personal work which attracts most clients. It’s a win-win situation really.
Have you had to move to pursue your creative career? No, thanks to the internet I don’t even have to leave my house. What’s the creative scene like in Norwich? Small but good, it’s starting to grow in leaps and bounds recently, which is great. If we came to visit you, where would you take us? First and foremost to ‘The Little Red Roaster’, for some amazing coffee. Then, if it’s car-boot season, I’d take you to the local carboot sale. If it’s raining, though, don’t worry – Norwich has loads of really good charity shops. If you could give one piece of advice to someone beginning their creative career, what would it be? Don’t rush. Things take time. Finally, what’s next for you? More work, more travelling, more car-boots, more coffee… www.anthonyzinonos.com
We were keen to find out about the lives, localities, and working practices of all the artists involved in the project, so we sent a short questionnaire to every artist who submitted a postcard. We asked them about their inspirations, working habits, and plans for the future. Together, the completed questionnaires offer an insight into the lives and working practices of emerging European artists. Here are just four, chosen because they illuminate some of the themes that we set out to explore. Alice Pattullo, an illustration graduate currently living in Brighton, UK, tells us about her cultural heritage; Emanuela Santini, an artist dividing her time between Rejika, Croatia, and London, UK, talks about studying abroad, and transcribing emotional responses to place into a visual narrative; Andra Baban, a Romanian ceramicist currently completing her MA in Translyvania, offers perceptive comments about her postcard in the light of her countryâ€™s political history; and finally, Manchester-based artist Olivia Glasser explains the idea behind her innovative postcard, and her experience of a recent European residency.
Postcards from Europe submission (2011)
Alice Pattullo Brighton, UK
Tell us about your piece. I chose to produce a postcard about where I was brought up: Jesmond in Newcastle Upon Tyne. I lived in the same house for the whole of my childhood and my parents still live there now, but are thinking of moving, after 24 years, to the country. Recently I have been reflecting a lot about my memories from around the neighbourhood, and things that I will miss if they leave. As we have a city garden, when I was little, my mum used to walk me through the local graveyard on the way to our allotment. I would be her scribe as she read out the epitaphs that she found most interesting, or which had the most resonance with the piece of work she was working on as a textile artist. I guess 20
I wanted to illustrate something about Jesmond that I knew would be a unique experience to myself and might show an area of the neighbourhood that might be overlooked. How do you usually approach a brief? I usually approach a brief with books and a big coffee! I love researching a project or a theme and tend to research lots of different threads until I find an aspect that excites me most. Then I will collect imagery from old books and from the internet, and start producing elements in my sketchbook that come to mind surrounding the topic. For a screen-print or an illustration I might do a sketch for the composition, or Iâ€™ll just scan in
Alice Pattullo graduated from Brighton Illustration in 2010. Since then she has worked for Whistles, Topman, Twelve and YCN. She works predominantly in screen-printing and is enamoured with 1950s aesthetics.
the drawings and see what unfolds as I start piecing them together on the computer, and stop when I am happy with it. Where do you do most of your creative work? I work from home so I spend most of my time ‘making’ at my desk (which is a haven of ephemera, collected items and inspiration) with a mug, my sketchbook and laptop. I will try and make sure I screen print at least every few weeks as I get withdrawal symptoms, and for this I am a member of a local print studio. I really enjoy the physical process that comes with screen-printing; it is really rewarding to see the translation ‘from sketchbook to computer to print’, and for an
illustrator (which is quite an isolated profession!) it is good to be surrounded by like-minded creative people and get out of the house every now and again. Are you influenced by your cultural heritage? I am definitely influenced by the cultural heritage of Britain. A lot of my work focuses on British tradition and folklore. I find the traditions and superstitions that come with folklore fascinating and often humorous. I think it is actually really important to support
local heritages and shine light on social groups that are keeping these traditions alive. I have recently been talking to the Brighton mummers and am hoping to produce some promotional material for them and hope this will introduce groups like these to different people. We feel that it is important to cultivate a creative community where you live, especially in areas where it is less apparent. How do you feel about this? I think a creative community is 21
Shell Museum (2011) incredibly important and I have often found that the strongest ones are in the least expected places. I think sometimes in big cities where cultural events and monuments are prevalent there is less inclination to keep a community going, whereas in small or isolated places creative communities occur naturally. Not having the creative community that University provides (having left a year ago) has made me realise how important it is to engage in the local creative community, and how easy it is to fall out of touch with what is happening in the art world by not doing this. I think it is interesting to consider how
local communities have adapted with the introduction of social networking, and how with the help of things like facebook and twitter these communities can be opened to the world. I guess this is what this project itself is doing! What’s next for you? I want to keep exploring British folklore and superstitions within my work as it is a topic that I find endlessly interesting. Hopefully I will be exhibiting some work towards the end of the year so am keeping up screen-printing towards that. I am going to try and concentrate on getting some more commercial work, too, as I tend to
be a bit self-indulgent in the way I work which doesn’t always pay the bills! Right at the minute I am producing an illustration inspired by a recent trip to The Shell Museum of Glandford in Norfolk which was a grotto to all things shell related. It’s great to still find museums that have hand written labels saying things like ‘baby’s toes - an exciting find!’
Olivia Glasser Manchester, UK
Postcards from Europe submission - Front (2011)
Olivia Glasser is an artist living and working in Manchester, UK. She works predominantly in 3D, and has recently completed a residency in Shedhalle, Tübingen, Germany.
Tell us a bit about your submission. When I tried to think about my relationship with Manchester, I couldn’t shake how much I would always rather be travelling somewhere else, no matter how much I love the city. The camera reflects this and does a little bit of travelling for me. Staying within an average postcard’s dimensions of 170mm by 120mm for the front and back, I constructed a box and embedded a disposable camera in it, designing it so that the camera’s operational parts were easy to reach. On a bright yellow sticker I wrote a request for everyone who
handled the postcard to take a few photographs of their surroundings. I wanted to equip this inanimate object with a way of recording its own journey - and I wanted to make the camera/postcard a communication device. For this piece of mail the sender and the receiver are not the most important things - instead, it is the way people react with it on its way between them. I’m interested in how the act of photographing can become exciting again if the photographs that are taken can not be viewed instantaneously – I’m hoping the absence is a more unifying experience than if everyone involved were able to see the photographs 23
Postcards from Europe submission - Back (2011)
We liked Olivia’s camera so much that we installed it in a prominent place in our exhibition in Wem Town Hall. We asked visitors to the gallery to take part in the camera’s journey by taking a photo of something they could see in their immediate surroundings. We’re looking forward to the results. Olivia was particularly inspired by the second phase of our project, when, after touring venues in the UK and beyond, the artwork will be returned to the participants. Instead of receiving their postcards, each artist will receive the work of another - to ensure that they gain a tangible souvenir of the project, and to encourage further international collaboration.
as soon as they were taken. I took some photos at the start of the camera’s journey so there should be a mix of photos from me in Manchester, Royal Mail staff between here and Wem, as well as photos taken in the gallery itself, and photos from its next destination. I’d like whomever the postcard ends up with, when the film has been used up, to contact me so that we can work out what to do with them next! What’s the creative scene like where you live? Good. Manchester is a nice size, not too big, not too small. (Plus it’s way cheaper up here than down South, so you get to rent a studio for half the price.) Have you had to move to pursue your creative career? No, I was here anyway. I think it’s important that British artists stick at other cities aside from the capi-
GLEICH ZEIT, Shedhalle, Tübingen (2011)
tal, as I feel like the sheer number of people that move to London after graduating from University can saturate its creativity. If we came to visit you, where would you take us? The airport. No, not really. I’d take you on the tram to Castlefield; to my exciting new studio space I have just moved in to in Rogue Studios; to some old pubs and, finally we could go on my favourite bike ride on the Fallowfield loop cycle path from Chorlton. What’s been the biggest challenge of your creative career so far? Getting the right balance between spending time on taking part in exhibition and residency opportunities, and actually focusing on the practice of making work itself. Could you tell us a little bit about your creative process?
What do you do from reading the brief to achieving the final outcome? Different ideas go around my head all the time until I come to some kind of idea I can work with, which I then have fun playing around with in sketchbooks and in the studio. What inspires you? Honestly, anything. If I had to give specific examples from this week, I would say conversations, bike rides, staying late at night in the studio and a new book I’ve been reading. Do you like to travel? Where’s the last place you sent a postcard from? I love to travel. The last place was Tübingen, Germany. I just took part in a two week residency there as part of an exhibition Platform were putting on called GLEICH ZEIT. I used the two weeks to revisit some old work, play around
with it and simplify it, which was really useful work-wise. I think the set up of the two weeks was what I enjoyed the most though. It was organised very democratically, so nobody was in charge. We all took turns to cook a big feast for everyone each evening. It took place in an old slaughterhouse called the Shedhalle; we cleaned out the basement underneath and had parties there both weekends... Amazing. What made you take part in Postcards from Europe? I’m really looking forward to comparing the results and seeing how people have responded to the brief. Finally, what’s next for you? Making a horse-themed chocolate cake for my housemate’s birthday on Sunday. cargocollective.com/oliviaglasser
Postcards from Europe submission (2011)
ANDRA BABAN Cluj Napoca, Romania
Andra Baban is a Romanian artist currently completing her MA in Ceramics at the University of Art in Cluj Napoca, Transylvania.
Tell us about your piece. The postcard is made from a page torn from a magazine for the visually impaired. The contour of Romania is sewn with red thread symbolizing the unchained borders of my country after the fall of the communist regime. I have not finished this border line as I still need to find out a lot of things about the past and present of the country I live in, but also what lies outside its borders. This postcard is about freedom but also about the uncertainty of how to handle it; itâ€™s about origin, about literal and metaphoric blindness, and about tradition (I was thinking of the ladies who used to embroider traditional designs on Romanian national outfits). It is mostly about identity. During the communist regime, Romanian borders were restricted, and people rarely had the opportunity to leave the country. Information was controlled and censored. It can be said people were â€œblindâ€? in regard to what happened outside the borders. Working on this postcard made me aware of how lucky I am to be born in Romania after this period of total limitation and how important travelling and having access to information has been for my personal development and creative practice. Do you feel as though where you live influences your creative practice? Baia Mare, the city I was born in and the city were I spent most of my years, has a great relevance in everything I do. First of all, this city is the place where my childhood memories were created, a fact that inspired me lately in a project, and which has had a significant influence on my work. Secondly, the city gave me the opportunity to study art since 5th grade in an art school where teachers and students together created a
distinctive atmosphere. Creativity and curiosity were encouraged. I think the place you were born, the memories, the people you grow with, all have a major influence, even if subconsciously, in every artistic creation. What is the creative scene like where you live? Although Baia Mare is a small city in the northern part of Romania known mostly for gold mining industry and for the chestnut plantations, the place has a lively cultural life. It is the main city in the Maramures county, a region of vivid traditions where village life is preserved. It’s known for its Pleinair painting colony formed in 1896. The number of cultural events theatre plays, concerts, exhibitions - is increasing every year. Have you had to move to pursue your creative career? Four years ago I chose to study ceramic art and moved to Cluj Napoca, a bigger city in the heart of Transylvania, where I completed my bachelor degree at the University of Art and Design. Cluj Napoca soon became my second home and the place where I am currently pursuing my MA studies in the field of ceramic art. It is a city with more opportunities, known for the vibrant cultural life and student life. This place changed my pace of life and gave me the chance to be closer to contemporary art spheres.
and installation, but photography, drawing, and graphics are always starting points in my work, and I enjoy experimenting in as many media as possible. What attracted me to Postcards from Europe is the idea that you ‘pack’ yourself into an envelope and send yourself without knowing who will open it and how the person will react. I really enjoy the feeling of anticipation you get when opening mail.
How does your work for Postcards from Europe compare with your current portfolio of work? In my work I frequently search for three-dimensional solutions, as I am concerned about space. This is why I express myself easily in ceramic or sculpture. My portfolio consists mainly of ceramic works
Could you tell us a little bit about your creative process? What do you do from reading the brief to achieving the final outcome? I rely heavily on instinct and spontaneity in all that I do. By endlessly manipulating the clay my hands, I transfer energy and give life to the form. Normally the process is fluid,
as the creation cannot be forced into rigid structures and rules. One of my latest fascinations is childhood imagery; I made a series of ceramic works inspired by my childhood drawings. My interest in childrens’ ways of representing life is also motivated by the need to rediscover purity and sincerity in expression. What’s next for you? I don’t usually make long term plans as I like to be spontaneous, but what I do know for sure is that I will spend my final MA year half in Turkey with an exchange programme, and half in Cluj Napoca graduating. The rest will probably come along, spiced up with work, experimentation and travelling. www.behance.net/andrababan
Emanuela Santini Rijeka, Croatia
Postcards from Europe submissions (2011) 28
Emanuela Santini is an artist living in Croatia. She recently completed an MA in drawing at Wimbledon College of Art. Tell us a bit about your postcards. The impetus for this work is based on my constant travellings. Thereâ€™s no place like home, but there are some that come pretty close, that have that rare ineffable feeling of instant familiarity. This piece is part of a series of visual diaries about my relationship to an environment/places in which I lived and worked. These mind maps of emotion are drawn some time after an environment or place is experienced and photographed. I find it fascinating how people experience their environment differently and connect to it emotionally. Do you feel as though where you live influences your creative practice? If so, please tell us a little bit about this. Inspiration for my work is not
strictly connected to the place where I live. Environments inspire me, people inspire me, but my creative practice is certainly not limited exclusively to the place I live. I dare to conclude that my frequent travellings, regardless of the destination, are very important to the creative process. Have you had to move to pursue your creative career? I left my country for two years to complete an MA in Drawing at Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London. I am now working as a tutor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rijeka, transferring the knowledge that I have gained in the UK to art students in my own country. I will never forget my experience. I would encourage everyone to study abroad!
What inspires you? There is a strong relationship between my work and personal life. My practice is about memories of places, people and events; about everyday life and how an emotion can be transcribed into a visual narrative. I take photographs incessantly and then carefully and systematically wade through them to find those that bring back certain memories and conjure up dramas about relationships. I am concerned with questions about the representation of autobiographical moments, distortion, and truth and how different millieu and social relationships can shape the way we think and feel. I am interested in how new places can conjure up subjective memories and how the alien can feel familiar in uncanny ways.
During the project we received 130 postcards from 14 European countries. What follows is a selection chosen to give an indication of the variety of artistsâ€™ home towns and countries, as well as the eclectic mix of working practices.
Isabel Greenberg London, UK 30
My postcard depicts a crash between two icons of Venice: pigeons and masks.
Elena Xausa Venice, Italy 31
Amy Ellis London, UK 32
The City of Romeo and Juliet
Andrea Manzati (Alconic) Verona, Italy 33
Anna Maguire London, UK 34
My postcard is about Professor Cockles (also known as Twickenham’s Tin Can Diver) who performed as an underwater stunt diver during the 30’s, right through to the 70’s. This postcard is a homage to Cockles as well as to Twickenham’s weird and wonderful riverside.
Elena Iezzi Twickenham, UK 35
Ines Brands Rostock, Germany 36
Meandros This image shows a handful of items picked up on the Thames foreshore. A fragment of ruby glass and of yellow flashed glass; a piece of manufactured china with an ancient Greek meander pattern; a piece of blackened and petrified bone, laid on top of which was a wet fragment of newspaper showing an oriental eye. That these far-flung things could be found together - amidst a dense, tidal mass of more - begins to explain something of what the city feels like..
Bethan Lloyd Worthington London, UK 37
Rolling Sunshine Steps
Milly Freeman London, UK 38
My postcard is actually a set of postcards. The images are of roadside stalls in Cornwall. These are common in rural areas, and have barely changed over time. As a photographer I spend much of my time exploring on my bike, and therefore end up making lots of collections, either physical, or photographic. These stalls are just one of these collections.
Oliver Udy Cornwall, UK 39
I live in Paris. I wanted to show that the same city is different for every one of us, as we build, mentally, our own city with the places we love to go, the places where we work, the route we make everydayâ€Ś a kind of mental map. We all have a different idea of the city we live in as we place ourselves at the centre.
AmĂŠlie Fontaine Paris, France 40
Dylan Spencer-Davidson London, UK 41
My postcard represents the countryside and the typical rural houses of North Eastern Italy.
Giacomo Bagnara Verona, Italy 42
Bratislav Milenkovic Belgrade, Serbia 43
Playing ‘Canicas’ Some days I like to take in a walk in the park near my home. It is always full of people, especially children playing ‘canicas’ (I think you call them marbles). It reminded me of my ‘canicas’ collection as a child.
Abel Jimenez Valencia, Spain 44
Tim Romanowsky Halle, Germany 45
Sergio Jimenez (Subcoolture) Madrid, Spain 46
Madrid doesnâ€™t influence my creative practice at all. Other places inspire me - places like the mountains in the north of Spain, or the brave northern sea. I live in the capital city of my country, but I have always wanted to live in a smaller town surrounded by nature.
Ricardo Cavolo Madrid, Spain 47
Ece Gรถkalp Istanbul, Turkey 48
Step Right Up!
Maria Corte Maidagan Barcelona, Spain 49
Chemical Wasteland I was born in 1982, a child of the DDR (GDR), until the unification came in 1990. At this time big chemical industries like BUNA and LEUNA (which caused a lot of pollution â€“ every house was covered in ash) made many workers unemployed. Even today there is still high unemployment in my hometown of Halle an der Saale. Things are cleaner here now though. You can even swim in the river Saale. The city has risen from its ashes â€“ so to speak.
Alexander Schmidt Halle, Germany 50
Cesar Barcelo Valencia, Spain 51
My Beloved Home, Spetses Island
Eleftheria Alexandria Spetses Island, Greece 52
My postcard is more a depiction of what’s here in Birmingham than of the place itself – and that’s the two most important people in my life, Jenny and Mabel.
Ben Javens Birmingham, UK 53
Soo Choi London, UK 54
Nothing to Object The postcard is a semantic game with objects related to the city of Barcelona. The meanings of the objects and the relations between them suggest something of everyday experience in this city.
Javier JaĂŠn and Andreu Meixide Barcelona, Spain 55
The Beaches of Alicante
Pablo Lacruz Alicante, Spain 56
XXIII YRS My postcard is about Headley Down in Hampshire. There isnâ€™t much there apart from houses so my postcard is made up of little drawings that represent things that I remember from growing up.
Tom Edwards Headley, UK 57
Lordship Lane Estate My postcard is about the Lordship Lane estate in Dulwich, South London. The chair is the one I spend all day every day sitting in - it has been the single most important purchase so far in my ‘illustration career’. I wanted to allude to the fantastic history of South London and to the inspirational people it has produced: Louise Michel was a french nurse and antagonist who played a key role in the Paris commune. After she was exiled from France she spent a short period living in Dulwich. Knowing that she once walked through the park as I regularly do makes Dulwich’s shortfalls a lot easier to ignore. Charlie Chaplin was born nearby in Kennington.
Peter Willis London, UK 58
Benjamin Phillips London, UK 59
Postcards From Europe would like to thank all of the artists who submitted their work for this project. We would also like to thank: The European Commission The British Council Wem Town Hall NOISEfestival Sophia Martineck Mark Lazenby Anthony Zinosos Riitta Ikonen Oisin Wood
Artist Contact Details
Abel Jimenez firstname.lastname@example.org
Cesar Barcelo email@example.com
Milly Freeman firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexander Schmidt email@example.com
Dylan Spencer-Davidson firstname.lastname@example.org
Oliver Udy email@example.com
Alice Pattullo firstname.lastname@example.org
Ece Gokalp email@example.com
Olivia Glasser firstname.lastname@example.org
Amelie Fontaine email@example.com
Eleftheria Alexandri firstname.lastname@example.org
Pablo Lacruz email@example.com
Amy Ellis firstname.lastname@example.org
Elena Iezzi email@example.com
Peter Willis firstname.lastname@example.org
Andra Baban email@example.com
Elena Xausa firstname.lastname@example.org
Ricardo Cavolo email@example.com
Andrea Manzati firstname.lastname@example.org
Emanuela Santini email@example.com
Sergio Jimenez (Subcoolture) Sergiojimenez@subcoolture.com
Anna Maguire firstname.lastname@example.org
Giacomo Bagnara email@example.com
Soo Choi firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Javens email@example.com
Ines Brands firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Romanowsky email@example.com
Benjamin Phillips firstname.lastname@example.org
Isabel Greenberg email@example.com
Tom Edwards firstname.lastname@example.org
Bethan Lloyd Worthington email@example.com
Javier Jaen Benavides Javier@javierjaen.com
Bratislav Milenkovic firstname.lastname@example.org
Maria Corte Maidagan email@example.com
Partners Our thanks to NOISEfestival.com and Wem Town Hall for their support in developing and delivering our first project. About NOISEfestival.com Through www.NOISEfestival.com, young creative people (aged 15-30) starting out on their career paths can build online portfolios; develop their skills, access opportunities and peer/professional networks; to enable them to gain income from their creativity. NOISE brokers media exposure, innovative projects and work related opportunities for young creatives, based solely on their talents and abilities. For more information visit www.NOISEfestival.com Funders Our project is funded by the European Commission’s ‘Youth in Action’ programme. Youth in Action is the programme the European Commission has set up for young people. It aims to inspire a sense of active European citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young Europeans and to involve them in shaping the Union’s future.The Youth in Action programme (2007-2013) provides young people with a variety of opportunities for non-formal and informal learning with a European dimension. It builds on the experience of the previous YOUTH programme (2000-2006) and its general objectives are: the promotion and development of young people’s active citizenship; solidarity and social cohesion; as well as the development and promotion of quality support systems and European-wide cooperation. Specific programme priorities are: European Citizenship; participation of young people; intercultural dialogue; and the inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities. Any one interested in applying to the programme should visit www.youthspace.org.uk or www.britishcouncil.org/youthinaction for more information.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission and British Council. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the European Commission and British Council cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Featuring work by: Abel Jimenez Alexander Schmidt Alice Pattullo Amélie Fontaine Amy Ellis Andra Baban Andrea Manzati Anna Maguire Ben Javens Bethan Lloyd Worthington Bratislav Milenkovic Cesar Barcelo Dylan Spencer-Davidson Ece Gökalp Eleftheria Alexandri Elena Iezzi Elena Xausa Emanuela Santini Giacomo Bagnara Ines Brands Isabel Greenberg Javier Jaén and Andreu Meixide Maria Corte Maidagan Oliver Udy Olivia Glasser Pablo Lacruz Peter Willis Ricardo Cavolo Tom Edwards Tim Romanowsky Sergio Jimenez Soo Choi Interviews with: Sophia Martineck Mark Lazenby Anthony Zinosos and Riitta Ikonen
Pan-European art project.