Sunday, 19 July 2009

I have a thing about postcards.

Or rather, just cards in general. I still have nearly every birthday card I've ever been given, though I think they're in Cornwall somewhere. I started running out of space, so unless they were particularly important I began tearing the pictures apart from the backs and recycling the backs. I have some great ones. The postcard thing is slightly different, because it's about images I've chosen for myself. It still have the odd separated birthday card in it, or cards people have sent me and even the odd flyer or leaflet if it had a particularly good image. I have one photo taken by Graham, that fits in seamlessly. I have an ambition of one day wallpapering them all to a suitable wall, but in the meantime, I use the wardrobes.

It probably doesn't look like it, but they're quite carefully arranged. The idea isn't to have areas that are all the same colour or that are too busy. New cards often mean rearranging what's already there so that the newcomer fits. The too busy is a big factor in how I choose images to go in. It's much more effective to have a very simple image on each card, because it gets too hard to see otherwise.

This one is pretty simple - just one object to catch your eye in a sea of more detailed images. It's a flyer from The Baltic Centre in Gateshead. I went to a conference there a year ago, and spent a good hour or two in their shop - they had a Yoshitomo Nara exhibition on, so it was pretty cool. I love the doll - the cynicism and the cartoon aspect of it.

Can't get more simple than that, and it goes quite well with this one:

My favourite (at least at the moment...) is this one:

I found it in a tiny art gallery come shop called Frank in Whitstable. I bought about 5 cards in there and found I'd spent about £20. I have forbidden myself even looking at that site properly because I KNOW I'll spend more money.

My postcards range from the abstract (thank you Charissa!) to the silly, from adverts to Darwin and from The Wildlife Photographer of the Year to Joan Collins. I love buying them. It's surprising how much money you can spend on postcards. I don't intend to get into that antiques game, I just find it a nice way of remembering great images.

I pick them up in art galleries, from racks of flyers, from quirky bookshops and gift shops. People SEND me them sometimes...that's exciting. Interesting images from all periods, cultures and places. I remember pretty much where they all came from too. They're an extension of my own photography, part of the same thing. An easy way of having a record of a beautiful thing or place, but also a window into a different time and place. How ELSE could I have a picture of Joan Collins rehearsing dance routines from Seven Thieves alongside pineapples growing at Heligan?

...So. Pretty pictures. If you see one that you think I'd like, post it! And I'll send something back. Then EVERYONE can have quirky collections of of pictures to cover their wardrobes with...


  1. I love your idea of wallpapering a wall with your postcards, I've only ever got as far as using large picture frames.

    Unfortunately most of my cards live in a box and only one of the frames is currently up on the wall as my husband doesn't share my tastes or enthusiasm for the postcards.


  2. Hey, I don't know if you already know this about the Roger de la Borde image but I think I recognise it from Rob Ryan's book, "This is for you", which is just beautiful and definitely worth tracking down :)

  3. You're welcome.:) I can't wait to get home and see what you sent me! My mom described it to me, but it's not quite the same as SEEING.

    Thank you for summing up so beautifully the postcard habit, in all its glory.