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Bury Art Mail: the postal project that has gone international

The innovative postal project started out as a way to keep people connected during lockdown is reaching artists on the other side of the world.

In a mission to keep people connected during lockdown, artists Alison Erika Forde and Lee Crocker from Bury Art Museum believed mail-art could be a great way to do this and so Bury Art Mail was created.

The postal project has become a way of forging new creative connections physically through traditional post as an alternative to sharing via digital platforms.

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The pair - who are also members of the Bury Art Museum team - were aware of how important drawing and being creative can be for mental health and wellbeing.

A call out to the museum’s social media pages gained initial interest back in Spring 2020, and the project has been flourishing ever since.

How does it work?

Alison and Lee create blank concertina books, each with a song title on the cover as music is also an inspiration behind the project. The blank sketchbook is then posted to the first Art Mailer to creatively fill two pages in whatever way they like.

Once completed, the book is then posted onto the next Art mailer and so on until all pages in the book are filled.

Bury Art Mail is aimed at everybody with a creative urge. So far those who have got involved include people who picked up drawing for the first time at the start of the pandemic as well as established artists.

The last person the book is posted out to returns the concertina book to the art museum, which is stored in the archives.

A group of the books were also exhibited during October 2021 for The Big Draw Festival, which Bury Art Museum has been a part of for the last ten years.

The theme and starting point for the next batch will focus on colour.

Bury Art Museum is keen to involve more local Bury-based artists in Bury Art Mail, so if you want to get involved you can email [email protected] with the heading BURY ART MAIL to register interest.

You can find more information about Bury Art Mail and how to get involved here.