About A Postcard to the World

A Postcard to the World is a unique Mail art project, conceived by participant-led arts in mental health organisation, CoolTan Arts, and responding to the Olympics and Paralympics 2012.
Participating artists are making postcards to celebrate the spirit of London 2012 and to express what the Olympics and Paralympics have meant to them.

Mail Art is a worldwide cultural movement that began in the early 1960s and involves sending visual art (but also music, sound art, poetry, etc.) through the international postal system. Mail Art is also known as Postal Art or Correspondence Art.

Mail Art is for everyone
Joseph Beuys said that everyone was an artist and with Mail Art everyone can be an artist. Mail art is an alternative to the exclusive gallery system and its selection of the chosen few. The postcard, having no protective packaging, is prey to the ravages of its journey through the post.

A Postcard to the World is open to all people with experience of mental distress and the wider London public who are experiencing the impact of the Olympic Games. Participating artists are exploring their relationship to the 2012 Olympics, in terms of its proximity to their daily lives and their resulting emotional and behavioural responses to the event. The artwork aims to map their personal psychogeography, give marginalised people a voice, and celebrate the contribution all Londoners can make to this historic Olympic event.

Michelle Baharier, CoolTan Arts CEO and lead artist on the project said: - “We are thrilled to be given the opportunity to record a usually undocumented history of the games. We hope that this inclusive project will enable people to tell their own stories of the Olympics and create new positive representations of disability. Britain has a very important legacy in the creation of the Paralympics and we want to celebrate that”.

Art works have been created in textiles, visual arts and sound art with CoolTan Arts participants and artists Lu Firth, Angelica Fernandez, Isa Suarez and Michelle Baherier. The project has been created in association with exhibition partners: South London and Maudsley Hospital Trust, Tate Modern, Centre for Better Health, South London Gallery, Oxford House, Cuming Musuem, Dulwich Picture Gallery and Homerton Hospital.

A Postcard to the World is a CoolTan Arts project.

Project Manager: Susan McNally
Project Coordinator: Rachel Ball

We are proud to have as Patrons: Maggi Hambling, Ali Smith, Clare Allen, Rosemary Shrager and Arthur Smith. 

A Postcard to the World Project Partners

With thanks to our funders:

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England