Art Hit: Post Art was an incredible research and development hybrid postal art and digital project we ran with artist Eleanor Matthews during the lockdown. We asked people from East Durham and beyond to create postcards that they had designed especially for people feeling isolated, in order to cheer others up and ensure that everyone felt connected during such a difficult time. We believed that to receive a piece of artwork that has been crafted by the care with someone, which the person had put thought into, would mean so much more than a simple message on social media and also allow the project to reach even more people.
The project was a fantastic opportunity for everyone to get involved, whether they made or received a postcard, and it was a great way to interject a bit of creativity and positivity into such a difficult time. A number of artists got involved with the project and offered their skills and advice to the community.
The project also included paid employment and skills development opportunities for local people as Project Assistants and towards the end of the project it was even possible to facilitate some in-person work utilising shopping centres, supermarkets, and community venues.
We were overwhelmed by the number of postcards people made, and they brought smiles to countless people, having reached almost 1,500 people in person and almost 10,000 digitally, the project outdid original targets and provided us with new skills in digital engagement. We also created a Facebook group, which facilitated sharing of artwork, online workshops, and activities as well as showcasing messages from those who had received postcards. The project also allowed opportunities for artists, primarily County Durham-based to trial new ways of working digitally, collaboratively, and in response to the themes.