ARTISTS Gabby O’Connor with Katharine Allard, Vanessa Crowe, Diana Goodwin, Chelsea Gough, Georgina Morison, Lisa Munnelly, Genevieve Packer, Sarah Jane Parton, Pippa Sanderson, Sandra Schmidt, Leanne Williams
Wellington artist Gabby O’Connor came up with the concept for Postmark before travelling overseas in June 2004. The show is a way to continuing to make art while travelling and to stay in touch with fellow-artist friends in Wellington.
While travelling through Europe, O’Connor treated transit lounges, trains, and hostels as her studio, making works that responded to new places, sights, and experiences. Every fortnight she would package up her work and post it back to one of her collaborators in Wellington. Each was was asked to respond to her work, incorporating it into a new work or using it as inspiration.
For example, O’Connor sent Chelsea Gough How Big Is the Sky? (2004)—a long pink ribbon on which she embroidered a question about our use of natural resources sent by a reader to the Guardian newspaper and the answer it provided. Gough, in turn, created a landscape diorama, whose work belies the question. O’Connor’s ribbon floats above the landscape on a sheet of Perspex.
Other works O’Connor sent back included Doily Forest, sixty trees cut out form paper doilies with a scalpel, and Craft Terrorist, images and lettering embroidered and beaded onto denim. It was inspired by O’Connor’s attempt to take contraband items, her knitting needles, the tools of her craft, onto airplanes, by bending them into bangles.