The PGCE Secondary Art and Desgin MailArt group has beenset up in response or rather to counter the online networking communicationthat prevails in all workplaces and institutions of education and is inspired(ironically) by Andy Hoang, E learning advisor and artist, who is involved in awider global mailart group himself.
The aim of the project is for students to keep in touchwhile out on school placements and boost each other's morale through what canbe a very isolating experience in acreative way. It was felt that thispractical, 'hands-on' approach to communication and sharing of ideas andexperiences through the PGCE course would suit Art and Design students betterthan a social networking or other online form of communication. The personaltime and attention given to this craft based task may be seen as a reactionagainst the distance and virtual forms of communication increasingly usedthroughout the rest of the students' training and a recognition of the need toacknowledge and support each other in a more meaningful and tangible way.
The PGCE Secondary Art and Design students sent one postcard to each of therest of the group once a week throughout the Autumn term. A timetable was to make sure that everyone inthe group makes and sends a postcard as well as receives one every week. The postcards are handmade or at the veryleast hand altered so that some art practice is going on as an antidote to allthe other less inspiring paperwork they are filling in and include messages ofsupport and inspiration to remind each other that they are 'all in ittogether'!
The exercise will be repeated during the Spring andSummer terms and the long term aim is for students to carry this oninto theirNQT year and beyond. The group alreadyhas an offshoot with two of the students running a mail art club sendingpostcards between their two placement schools, linked to a selfportrait/identity project! The projecthas also 'caught the eye' of the National Society of Education in Art andDesign who will be including the project in an article in the launch of theirnew magazine, AD.