2014 marks the beginning of WW1 commemorations. Working in partnership with Youth Services in Hartlepool, the Heugh Gun Battery and Beamish Museum, Visual Artist Theresa Easton uses the medium of Mail Art to explore the complex narratives presented in Trench Art and the hybrid nature embedded within the objects. Brass artillery shells were produced in their millions; they represent the defining weapon of WW1. This project exchanges Mail Art with international contributors, opening up a cross-cultural dialogue.
WW1 was a war carried out on an industrial scale, manufacturing millions of brass artillery shells. These shells became an icon of an industrialised war and were picked up by soldiers and civilians to be reconfigured into an example of Trench Art. They represent a creative hybrid of experience and recycled materiality. The parallels between this creative tradition and Mail Art (art sent through the post) have similar qualities. This project stems from a fascination in Trench Art and a commitment to developing participatory projects. Partners include the Heugh Gun Battery in Hartlepool, local young people and Mail Artists. The project explores Hartlepool’s social history using the parallel of Trench Art and the tools of Mail Art. The international potential of Mail Art provides an opportunity to understand the experience of WW1 from a different perspective.
Theresa Easton is a printmaker and artist educator based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. Easton trained in Printmaking at the University of East London and completed a PGCE at Durham New College and an MA in Glass at Sunderland University.
Based in the Ouseburn Valley, the cultural quarter of Newcastle, Easton delivers regular workshops in printmaking & bookmaking. Artist’s Books provide a platform for Easton’s printmaking skills and the opportunity to develop international projects such as The Sunderland Book Project and celebrate the return to the North East of the Lindisfarne Gospels with an Artist’s Book Fair at BALTIC in June 2013.
This blog aims to record and document the work made by young people, artists, non-artists, designers and makers from around the world, reflecting their research, ideas and inspiration starting from WW1 Trench Art. If you would like to get involved download further details HERE