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A
platform
for
contemporary
art

20 September 1991 —
20 October 1991

The Letter Box Show

The Letter Box Show, 1991 (installation view)
The Letter Box Show, 1991 (installation view)
The Letter Box Show, 1991 (installation view)
Humphrey Ikin, Hurricane Brand, (detail). Steel, pine construction.
Jeff Thomson, Pages from Mail Boxes.
Donna Hoyle, A Letter Box. Bronze sheet construction.
Bill McKay, A Stick Sharpened On Both Ends. Native timber.
Bill McKay, House of Memories. Cast resin and objects.
Gary Hunt, Grey Lynn. Steel, copper, wood construction.
Jeff Thomson, Roadside Farm Letter Box. Ready-made galvanised iron letterbox.
Jeff Thomson, Roadside Farm Letter Box, (detail). Ready-made galvanised iron letterbox.
Gavin Chilcott, Where Is Your Work. Coloured pencil on paper. 765mm x 570mm.
Richard Priest. Cast aluminium.
Jeff Thomson, Aeroplane Letter Box. Ready-made galvanised iron letterbox, corrugated iron.
Michael Fisher. Fibreglass aluminium construction.
Joanna Klein, Untitled. Computer aided drawing on paper. 580mm x 745mm.
John Hughes and Paul McIntosh, Four Harbour View, 1991. Marine ply, copper lacquer.
John Hughes, Four Harbour View. Pencil, marker on paper. 760mm x 580mm.
John Papas, Its All A Matter Of Taste My Dears. Mixed media on paper. 760mm x 580mm.
John Reynolds, Cabinet. Wood, acrylic.
Kalvin Collins, In The House. Oil on board construction.
Kalvin Collins, In The House, (detail). Oil on board construction.
Mal Bartlett, Beware of the Letter Box. Pencil ink on paper.
Malcolm Harrison, Mortalif. Mixed media construction.
Malcolm Harrison, Mortalif, (detail). Mixed media construction.
Malcolm Taylor, Untitled. Coloured pencil, marker on paper. 305mm x 235mm
Malcolm Taylor, Untitled. Coloured pencil, marker, computer aided. 395mm x 215mm.
Malcolm Walker. Galvanised iron, oil and electric motor.
Malcolm Walker, (detail). Galvanised iron, oil and electric motor.
Neil Kirkland, Untitled (installation view). Alkyd, ink on wood construction.
Neil Kirkland, Untitled (detail). Alkyd, ink on wood construction.
Peter Bossley, Monument To The Demise Of Rural NZ. Dry pastel on paper. 760mm x 580mm.
Peter Rogers, Letter Box for Maria. Fibreglass aluminium construction.
Philippa Blair, A Mauritian Letter Bag Transformation. Rope sticks and acrylic on unstretched canvas, variable installation.
Philippa Blair, A Mauritian Letter Bag Transformation, (detail). Rope sticks and acrylic on unstretched canvas, variable installation.
Pip Cheshire, Public - Private, The Boundaries of Change. Coloured pencil on paper. 155mm x 275mm.
Rewi Thompson. Pencil, dry pastel on paper. 580mm x 760mm.
Rick Pearson, Working drawing for a letter box. Oil on card. 1100mm x 990mm.
Rudi Schwarz, Untitled. Gouache on paper. 570mm x 770mm.
Sarah McKenney, Tuatara Letter Box. Pencil, watercolour on paper. 580mm x 760mm.
Warren Viscoe, R. D .Journeys, 1980-1985. Ink on paper. 580mm x 760mm.
Todd Strathdee, Exvelox. Stainless steel, copper, concrete.
Valeska Campion, Mail Box, 1991. Mosaic construction.
Valeska Campion, Mail Box, 1991 (detail). Mosaic construction.

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The Letter Box Show was an artistic exploration of the letter box as a reflection of our personality, prompted here by the work of Aotearoa New Zealand sculptor Jeff Thomson. Artists who were invited to participate drew from a range of practices, including painting, sculpture, craft, and architecture.

This was to encourage diversity in approach and response towards the exploration and examination of what is considered art. The letter box was used by the artists as a metaphorical space of embossed communication through the written and drawn form. The letter box in its physical form is used as a repository and holding point, functioning as a transitional point for messages. However, by using unconventional materials, shapes, and colours it is also a site of identification and identity of the owner. As a beautifully crafted object it is an extension of the house and has the potential to exhibit a range of whimsical, humorous, or monumental character.

In the 1990s people living in the city may have desired elaborate letterboxes to adorn their front gates, while those in more rural areas of the country may have preferred something quirky, handmade with kiwi ingenuity that made full use of materials at hand. As a site of identification, the letter box is bound to points of locations such as house number, street and property names, but can also indicate personal identity when crafted and decorated to indicate the owner’s vocation or passions.

Press

'Stamp of approval for letterbox art', The New Zealand Herald, 1991

Download

'The Letter Box Show' exhibition card, 1991