Work in progress. Installation – old postcards, model railway track, text, postcard rack

My response to the history of the building where I have my studio, the Old Parcels Office, housed in a grade II listed building at the end of Scarborough station platform, its original use was the waiting rooms for the excursion train that brought holidaymakers to the town at the end of the 19th century. In this project I am interested in exploring the link between rail travel and the popularity of the picture postcard as a way to connect to the stories of the holidaymakers and visitors that have passed through this building.

The project has two parts; an installation piece using model railway track, old postcards of Scarborough sent at the beginning of the 1900’s, and text from these postcards which has been carbon copied onto the brick walls of the very same building these visitors would have passed through.

The second part is an invitation to visitors to the Open Studios (held in April 2022 and again in June 2022 as part of North Yorkshire Open Studios) to collaborate and connect with this project, by taking a postcard and sending it to me with their stories, thoughts or greetings. These postcards all have the same image, a set of 83 unwritten postcards from the mid 20th century showing the putting green and Holbeck Clock Tower, each numbered and stamped. Eighty three refers to 1883, the year in which the excursion station, now home to the Old Parcels Office Art space, was built. The image itself has no particular relevance, other than it being clearly an image from another point in time showing a leisure activity, and may or may not serve as a vehicle to evoke memories in the participant. Further details on collaborating with the project can be found here.

The postcards I receive will form part of a final installation piece and a limited edition artists book that aims to connect the different conversations and stories of people passing through the building across time. The piece will form part of an exhibition in Autumn 2022 on the history of the building.

“We are returning tomorrow but we are sorry to leave here, it is so pleasant. Anyhow, we shall have to live on Happy memories. Love to all. Maggie”

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