February 7, 2011 - Helen Amyes sent me this colorful mail-art made from her studio scraps - excellent recycling! She is, I believe, primarily a painter. Since we became friends last June, I have seen Helen eagerly explore many facets of mail-art and integrate them seamlessly into her work. She was already a skilled collage artist, and her work has expanded in that area. Helen has ventured with great success into FluXus, vispo, asemics, and haptic poetry - while all the time maintaining her distinctive style and vision. The piece above is haptic - very tactile and I love the bubble wrap. She seems to be drawing upon the FluXus influence (thanks for thinking of me, Helen) for this particular piece; it's hardly characteristic of other work I have seen, but that's one thing I admire about Helen - her willingness to experiment. The haptic intention is clearly stated on the envelope:
The stamping is great, but for the longest time I thought I had received a piece from Katerina Nikoltsou (Greece). Helen Amyes is involved in an extraordinary number of projects here at the IUOMA and beyond. I did not completely grasp she was so involved in what amounts to a haptic renaissance being led by Bifidus Jones (Minnesota, USA). Helen has certainly mastered the aesthetic. More evidence for the FluXus nod in this piece can be found on the other side of the envelope:
Fluxus Oz? New to me. I also think Helen has a healthy sense on humor. I know she does. When I opened the envelope, all this confetti spilled out, sending Simba (the world's third most amazing mail-art dog) into a frenzy. (Although what's going on with some of those bits looks more than random.) I recall that some time back I was throwing all kinds of scraps into mail-art envelopes. I did not think much about what happened when people opened them. Was this some payback from Helen? Or belated holiday cheer? Here are some smaller pieces from the batch Helen sent me:
It's always wonderful to receive mail from Helen. She is busy with shows and residencies in Australia, and I'm glad she is able to stay active in mail-art. Her work is always thoughtful; she enriches projects. I am so looking forward to her contributions to mail-art books. Actually, I can't wait to see what she'll do in this area. Many thanks and many more exchanges, Helen!
You receive a puzzling add-and-pass(ion). Here is how you should respond: A guy walks into a bar with a dog. He claims the dog can talk. "Give me a beer and I'll show you." The bartender slides a beer to him and the man asks the dog, "Fido, what is that above our heads?" The dog says, "Roof!" The irritated bartender says, "That's not talking, he sounds like any other dog." The man says, "OK, how about this - Fido, who was the best baseball player of all time?" The dog says, "Ruth!" The bartender throws the man and the dog out of the bar. Fido says to the man, "Ya think I shouldda said DiMaggio?"
Mail-art color of the day: quartz
Mail-art words for the day: peanut butter (crunchy)