PORTAL Postcards project spreads its wings

Published on 16 July 2020

Postcard paintings and Bellbrae artist Deirdre Boeyen-Carmichael.jpg

As part of Council’s PORTAL program of creative workshops, discussions and initiatives during COVID-19, PORTAL Postcards aims to re-connect communities through small acts of creativity and invites people to create postcard-sized artworks to share during July and August.

"The format of a postcard is the perfect format to share a message of hope and solidarity, while also providing a canvas through which to creatively reflect on this moment in time,” said Bellbrae artist and environmental activist Deidre Boeyen-Carmichael, who is leading the initiative by painting sunrises on postcards to share with vulnerable and isolated people in the community.

After registering, each participant will be sent five blank postcards and a reply paid envelope. Upon their return, the postcards will be distributed among vulnerable people in our community and to fellow artists. Selected cards will be exhibited in an online exhibition at the end of August.

“I started heading to the clifftops near Bells Beach’s Southside at dawn to connect with nature during the early days of COVID-19, which was quite scary,” said Deirdre. “The postcards were a way to keep me sane to come back to the studio and paint the sunrise I witnessed, even on stormy and wild days.”

The idea was inspired by a Japanese artist who painted the date on a black canvas each day. Deirdre paints the sunrise as a visual reference to a moment in time, and on the back of the postcards adds the date, weather and tide as a historical reference of our shared experience.

The postcards also serve as a reminder of climate change and the need to take notice of what scientists are telling us about the environment and the pandemic, which links into Deirdre’s Sunday Morning Session conversation, “Art, Activism and Place” on Sunday August 23 through PORTAL.

“The sunrise is a symbol of hope and I liked the idea that the dawn is full of potential; a new day,” said Deirdre. “I’m hoping the postcards will end up giving people a bit of positivity to brighten up their day.”

To register to become a PORTAL Postcards artist, go to www.surfcoastartstrail.com.au. All postcards needs to be returned for distribution by 14 August.

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