This postcard exchange was part of the exhibition ‘News From Home - Petrozavodsk’ in Decmeber 2019 to February 2020. 44 postcards were sent to 20 countires around the world. These postcards featured a design/text from the project, alongside the written texts of those participating.
The basis for this exhibition and exchange was the artist’s participation in the Karelia Artist in Residence Program, where they lived and worked in Petrozavodsk for 4 weeks in July 2019. The central aim of News From Home is to engage with the people, objects and stories which make up a local community and communicate these through visual art pieces. The starting point for this project is the humble postcard. The artists are interested in how these kitsch objects present highly constructed and idyllic images of a place, yet at the same time fail to acknowledge the more authentic but messy realities present. The aim of this project therefore was to explore beyond these surface images, to consider Petrozavodsk on a deeper level and find alternative representations.
Throughout July 2020 the artists spent time in the community researching, talking to locals and capturing thousands of images. Through this process they came across various observations, stories and ideas that they felt offered a far more interesting, complex and diverse image of Petrozavodsk than they had originally been presented. Using their own imagery alongside historical and found images, the artists have created a series of 16 collages inspired by the people, objects and stories of Petrozavodsk. These collages were digitally composed in Photoshop, combining between 2-200 individual elements that come together to form various surreal scenes.
Accompanying each of the works is a research text, detailing the event or observation that it was inspired by. An additional aspect to this project, returning to its initial inspiration, is the creation of a postcard. This postcard features a design from the exhibition on the front with a research text on the back. The intention of this postcard is that the audience can take a postcard and send it to a new audience of their choice. It is hoped that in this way the community of Petrozavodsk can be represented to the ‘outside world’ in a way that is more insightful than a standard tourist postcard.