The Unwinding Cards

By Jackie Morris

A collection of 100 illustrated postcards taken from The Unwinding.

Sunday, 19 February 2023

What is a postcard

As we work towards making the postcards print ready I am trying to write about postcards, what a postcard is, and what I hope these Unwinding postcards might add to the world. 

I've lived in the same house for thirty years now. In that time I have collected, accidentally, many cards. Some have been sent to me by friends, some bought at exhibitions, small reminders of beauty. One, a postcard of a zebra, I have had with me since college days. 

There's a connection we get through sending and receiving postcards that is so much more satisfying than an exchange via texts on a phone. Something about their brevity inspires me. But also, I do love the visual element. Choosing a beautiful card to send to a friend speaks of care. Finding the right words to fit in the space. There's also a curious romance in sending something so small and fragile out into the world, especially when they make long journeys overseas.

So, what does a postcard mean to you? And do you buy them to keep, or buy them to send? Alison, who designed The Lost Words and The Unwinding told me a beautiful story. She moved to Australia, and before she did, while shopping with a friend, they both found a box of 100 postcards they both loved. So they bought one each and vowed to send all of the cards in the box to each other, so that when all 100 were sent the box would still be full, but with messages and news from across the world. I find something so very beautiful in that.

Above is another card that has lived for years with me. What is the card you have possessed for the longest time? It is said that the life of a postcard is short, but I doubt this for some cards. Often mine disappear between the pages of books, only to emerge months or years later when I pick up the book again. This one below was marking a recipe in a cook book. It comes with memories of Wealden Festival, via Hay and Brighton and Edinburgh... but also, amazing connection to my own work through history. Amazing things made in 1507, with their small flags. 

So, tell me your postcard stories, as I try to compose a small spell to accompany this box. And tell me, if you buy them, will you keep them or send them? What is the oldest postcard, the one that made you happiest to receive, sad, changed the course of your life?

They are being printed far away, won't be ready until October, November, but then hopefully will be sent out with the pledges and be available in shops. I will keep you updated on their progress. Accordion Books are being sent out from 6th March and new ones will be available on the Unbound site for funding soon. I just need to get this written so I can paint, a cat and a hare. 

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Kate Calico
 Kate Calico says:

Thanks Jackie ~ I’m looking forward to seeing the cards when they land!!!

posted 20th February 2023

Raymond Lowell
 Raymond Lowell says:

I don't honestly know which card I've had the longest. My favourite recently received one features a pair of Beatrix Potter's rabbits to celebrate this year as The Year of the Rabbit. I buy too many postcards, but I am trying to send more of them out into the world rather than hanging onto them. I have quite a few people scattered about both the country and the world beyond to whom I write routinely now, so it's a little easier to send them far beyond the confines of these four walls. I will try to send on the Unwinding postcards, though I admit some may only get sent to myself rather than others!

posted 20th February 2023

Andrea Burden
 Andrea Burden says:

I’ve always loved postcards. The oldest I have are when I really discovered art at the age of 15. I had been put off by art by rooms with dusty still life set ups that never changed and filled with faded prints of Constable and Stubbs. A change of art teacher introduced Pop Art into my life and suddenly art was shown to be exciting and vibrant. That summer there were a host of exhibitions in London of Andy Warhol’s art. My slight Marilyn Monroe obsession helped hook me in, and I went to all the exhibitions. Saving my Saturday job money for the train fare. Navigating the tube and London streets with an A-Z, my parents trusted me to go. Unable to afford the books I bought postcard after postcard. They decorated my student bedrooms and then perched on shelves in a flat before finding a home in my downstairs loo - where they still are today.

posted 20th February 2023

Kate Maple
 Kate Maple says:

My friend Michele and I started trading postcards we created at the start of the pandemic. We continue to explore “postcardness” and mark special dates, seasons, and our own art practice. Such fun to receive a hand-crafted postcard! Our postcards go out to a wide range of colleagues and friends connecting us all in a net of light-hearted regard.

posted 20th February 2023

Allison Bailey
 Allison Bailey says:

I want to send the postcards out but can’t bear to part with them all - so ordered an extra box to be able to share them with the world.

posted 20th February 2023

Pamela Barone
 Pamela Barone says:

Ah, at 67 I am on my second postcard collecting spree. My original was lost in a personal disaster, although sometimes a visual will float up in dreams. Pinned up or tucked into the just-right gap between wall and door, my postcards now are a testament to my nephew & his mate. They send me postcards from their travels and from their home base. Each one is a treasure, they tell me my boys are living fully and also remember their Aunt Pam. My oldest card? 22 Aug 2016.

posted 20th February 2023

Amber B
 Amber B says:

I preordered 2 packs so I can send one lot out into the ether . My oldest postcard is made from a Christmas card sent to my Nan when she had my mum. As I’m 70 you can imagine the age of it. My saddest was the one informing me a friend had died.

posted 20th February 2023

Donna Miller
 Donna Miller says:

I have my grandfather's cards he saved from the 1920s, and then I have some favorites of my own, like one from the 80s with a Groucho quote "I've had a wonderful night. This wasn't it." I like to make postcards and keep in touch with far-flung friends, and I cherish ones I buy at museums to remind me of works I marveled at, like a painting by Hodler, an artist I fell in love with.

posted 20th February 2023

Kate Greenwood
 Kate Greenwood says:

My best friend and I would always exchange postcards when we were somewhere exciting, and still do (as well as writing more lengthy letters a couple of times a year) that I'm expecting a baby in June, I'm using some cards from your older collection to write a few choice messages to the bairn, which I'm finding a lovely way of connecting. I hope they grow up to love nature!

posted 20th February 2023

Eileen Ball
 Eileen Ball says:

Postcards are the most beautiful items to give and receive. The image brings surprise and delight, a demonstration of thoughtfulness, the reverse a space for a sweet short message. I have taken to sending postcards to people who are not able to communicate directly, a message to say "you are in my thoughts" a token to be enjoyed when the time is right.

posted 21st February 2023

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