‘made up’ landscape postcards contd.(testing my boundaries weeks 11 & 12)

i thought i would spend another day working on the image for the 2-part ‘made up’ postcards that i intend to send in order to reach a new audience and start a conversation about my work and notions of landscape – how we look, consider, understand it etc. i started by looking through the CYMK prints from making day and decided what was working and what wasn’t. as the CYMK process progressed past CY i felt the image lose some of the best things about screen printing – namely its colour and the energy that the play of the bitmap overlays generated. so, working with C and Y i decided to pronounce the make up over layers by staggering them. the margin that this created would be a good way to place the text as i felt the text was working on a few levels – ‘made up’ having a double meaning for imaginary as well as the physical making up of the image in 2 parts and in 2 layers of colour. and as i have been reading about the history of postcards –  double entendres and seascapes have a long tradition – although of a different kind.

one of the things that struck my about the CY colour overlays was the hyper colour of the green and blues that was created and put me in mind of something nostalgic and unreal – an ideal landscape greener than green and bluer than blue like the John Hinde postcards that constructed an idealised image of ireland through previous decades for tourists and for the irish themselves. so my intention will be to write a handwritten message on these postcards  – maybe some question about whether it could have been this green or this blue –it might be this blue or it might have been this green. this could bounce against the printed text ‘made up’ that yes it could have been or maybe its is all just made up. after all it is an image of a landscape and the image can be anything i care to make it and maybe this landscape as image is what i like to keep in focus by pronouncing its physical layers of coloured bitmap dots. so, without too much over-analysis ….

images of the process:

setting up the composition based on first edition run using transparencies

first layer: C of the CY K (text)

second layer: Y of the CY K

third layer: K (text) of the CY K

fourth layer: K (text and stamp lines) of the CY K

cutting the image into 2 postcards for ‘audience’ assembly/participation/perception

reflection on process so far: i have now an edition of 12 double postcards for sending to an audience. while they are not perfect (hand pulled imperfections being part of my investigation related to landscape, image and the body etc) i think that they are sufficiently ready for posting and my process of testing and reaching an audience. i had also thought that i might laminate part of the image in clear acetate to echo the glossy  laminated postcards of landscape images and to protect from the handling of postage that might damage the image but this might open up all sorts of decisions that i would have to make about where, how and what it might be saying about the value of the image or work (needing protection) so i’ll let them take their chances with hands, post-bags, letter boxes and dogs! as they are. perhaps the laminating is something i might test another time.

reflection on audience so far: deciding who the audience should be also raised questions, i initially thought that to test my boundaries i needed the audience to be those who had never seen my work but i decided that what they needed to be was an audience that had not engaged with my landscape, body, image work and could offer feedback by way of conversation of some kind. i chose a variety of people to send the postcards to in terms of age, location and relationship to me. i also chose an audience of predominantly ‘non-artists’ but did include a couple of designers and one artist. once i began going through my contacts, i realised that there were so many people i would like to reach as an audience and start a conversation about the work, the landscape etc and kind of wished i had a larger edition but i guess this would have slowed the process down and gone against the ‘short experiment or test’ which is already more involved than i imagined. so here is the text message i sent to my new ‘audience’ all of which were eager to participate (except one who said ‘what the hell is all that about? and would call me to get a better idea of what it’s all about).


text message to ‘audience’

once i had gotten over the possibility that it might be construed as self promotion for some kind of commercial gain which i would be very uncomfortable with,  i was much more comfortable sending the text messages going through my contacts. i think my inclusion of the term ‘experimental’ got me over this. i also hope i was not too prescriptive about how the audience should display or assemble the image but if it was too vague it might put people off – so much to consider! so i have bought the stamps and will send postcard number one on monday and postcard number 2 on wednesday. in any particular order? the final piece of the process involves deciding on the brief hand written message to the audience  – something that might spark the conversation about landscape, body, image – i think they might all be slightly different messages … maybe?  and as i have included the text ‘made up elainecrowe.com’ i kind of feel my website needs to be a bit more up to date so i should get going on this before i send the first postcards out. i am also thinking of creating a small booklet of the process which will include the images the audience send back to me an text of their feedback – will see.

audience: (GON, DS, TM, WC, AL, UR, MK, EM, AD, FK, PC, SC)

references and links:




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