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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Silence in the Noise: Mail Art.

Beneath a vintage dryer bonnet, this lady - in search of pretty looks - appears to be in a zone of quietude. The moment I found this in my mail, I knew it was one of my favorites!  E, the mailer, was unaware of the memories her mail art would evoke.  Memories of:
  • hours of my own beneath these humming bonnets - reading and awaiting transformation
  • the look of my mother and grandmother and many other women beneath the bonnet
  • my grandmother in this exact type of house/salon dress
  • that exact relaxed look - beatific - on the face of anyone beneath these humming, warm-air-blowing bonnets 
As loud as they were - and maybe still are - a bit of heaven can be found beneath these dryer bonnets, in the same way that the come and go of waves can lull you to sleep at the beach.

Around the pasted image of this lady sitting primly beneath her bonnet, E used rubber stamps to create a scalloped pattern on the brown paper envelope. And around her head, E affixed "thoughts" and images.  E added color to the black and white image... I especially love the thick 60s eyelashes and the delicate colors she chose! But I wanted to free this lady from her thoughts and give her the peace so many women have found beneath the bonnet.  

It took a bit of work, as E's mail art was of course a real envelope.  Opening it in a hurry to get to the written contents, I tore the edge unevenly.  To fix this, I separated the front and back of the envelope - using parts of the paper to repair the torn edge.  E's stamps are always the greatest, vintage and/or interesting graphics, so I saved those.  Then - to create an atmosphere of tranquility around the seated lady, it was necessary to paint over the thoughts E had given her.  E's stamped scallops reminded me of clouds, so I painted white all around the lady under the bonnet. 

And finally, to firmly attach the added layers of paper, I machine-stitched a few lines.  And now, the mail art - mailed from E to me - is ready for a place on the wall of my studio... to remind me to take a moment to relax from time to time.  Thank You E.