It is a great joy for me to be able to draw attention to the #Letter365 installation by David Smith because, like so many others, I have been watching David’s art project unfold day by day over the last twelve months.
Every day for a year, an artwork as been created and posted. The task is repetitive and routine, and there were limits on the artworks themselves (due to them needing to comply with the Royal Mail standard sizes for posting.) However, in following David’s journey, it becomes clear that even within this repetition, there is so much scope for unexpected variety. “We all like to believe we live in an well-ordered world…” suggests David, but his work illuminates the glorious unpredictability in the mundane:
There were good days ….
“A very rich result for today’s piece: one that has something for everyone perhaps. Technically interesting, visually rich with references to our art heritage. Took a bit of a while but worth it.” David Smith 31/12/2014
There were bad days, rainy days ….
“…it turned out dull and drizzly. So today’s #Letter365 offering got everso vaguely damp in the 30 paces to the post box.” David Smith 31/03/2014
For the show, “the envelopes will be displayed in a regular grid structure down the two long walls of the Allsop Gallery” and “only those which are sold will be opened out and the artworks displayed next to the envelopes they were posted in, disrupting the regularity.”
Also on display will be a small selection of other artworks created over the last year, from the “Field Drawings” and Tidelines” series – a fantastic opportunity to see David’s work in a greater context. Below is “All mystery is born here” – and the pervading theme of the chaos to be found within rigid formality, which underpins the #Letter365 project, can see seen.
From an art historian’s perspective I find David’s work fascinating, often having had academic discussions about where artistic control ends and viewer perception starts and the constant wrangling between the two, as to exactly where “ownership” may ultimately rest. In this installation the ongoing negotiation is played out in physical form where the artist is photographed literally posting his work away to a new destination, releasing it to the elements (and handling by perhaps multiple people, carriers, machines), as David suggests, “it could have got wet, folded, opened, stained, stamped and soiled. They may have got lost on the way.” For those interested in an artist’s perspective on viewer reaction, I recommend the “unhappy?” section of his blog. “Art should cause a reaction” says David, and I heartily agree.
Words and Art: David Smith
Article by: Beck @artistscribbles
Categories: Art Shows