PICA artists launch £25-a-pop postcards to raise funds for York studio improvements

A sneak preview of artists’ postcards for sale at PICA Studios on Saturday and Sunday

AFTER ceramics, jewellery, paintings, collage, films and textiles, now the artists at PICA Studios are branching out into one-off postcards for one weekend only.

More than 20 creatives share the workshop space, in Grape Lane, York, that is rarely open to the public, except for the annual York Open Studios.

However, on Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 4pm, PICA Studios will play host to a special Postcard Show and Sale of original artworks made by studio members.

Jewellery designer Evie Leach experimenting and exploring her practice with a print/collage postcard series created for this weekend’s show and sale

PICA artist Lesley Birch says: “I successfully launched a postcard project during lockdown and so we’ve decided to follow that format this weekend. A postcard is small, affordable and original, and as we only have a small space to display them, we felt this would work well for our first collaborative show in the foyer outside of York Open Studios.”

Each postcard will sell for £25 to raise funds towards improving the studio space and to create a gallery in the foyer at PICA, where the studios opened in February 2017. 

For jewellery designer Evie Leach, the postcard project has helped push her creative practice.  “It’s taken me in other directions to make a series of artworks on paper inspired by my jewellery designs. This is what a studio is all about: inspiring and innovating members to go beyond their comfort zone.”

Emily Stubbs curating the Postcard Show at PICA with hammer, drill and hands

Fellow founding member Emily Stubbs says: “This is the first time we have collaborated with so many of us producing work just for the studio. It’s a bonding experience and we’re looking forward to it very much.” 

Joining Lesley, Evie and Emily in the postcard show will be Katrina Mansfield, Ealish Wilson, Sarah Jackson, Ric Liptrot, Jo Edmonds, Lisa Power, Amy Stubbs, Mick Leach, Rae George, Lesley Shaw Lu Mason and Kitty Pennybacker, with more still to come.

Spring Garden, by Lesley Birch, one of the postcards for sale for £25 at PICA Studios

The £25 postcards can bought in person at PICA or online through Instagram, where “you can spot the one you want” at instagram@picastudios.

One final thought: in an age when a postcard dropping through the door is increasingly rare, how does such an occurrence make Lesley Birch feel? “Receiving a postcard is absolutely lovely,” she says. “All the smudges from the postmark, the date and the handwriting make it a piece of history. It’s the good old days of snail mail.”

Now comes a repurposing of a postcard with the stamp of art to each one.

Textile postcards by PICA Studios artist Ealish Wilson