Monday, 16 September 2019 at 10:00 am – Friday, 3 April 2020 at 4:00 pm
Curious Things: A Glimpse into the International Mail Art Archive of Michael Leigh and Hazel Jones
Specially curated by Michael Leigh and Hazel Jones, Senior Lecturer at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University
Date: 16th September 2019 – 3rd April 2020
Time: Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm; Saturday 12pm – 4pm (term time only)
Location: Special Collections Gallery, All Saints Library, Manchester M15 6BH
Tickets: Free - Just turn up!
For more than forty years, artist Michael Leigh has been creating, sending, receiving and collecting Mail Art, smallscale works sent through the post. The archive he has amassed with fellow artist Hazel Jones includes worldwide correspondence with over fifty artists and encompasses envelopes, rubber stamps, zines, catalogues, badges, artistamps, artist trading cards, add to and pass on books, collaborative books and posted objects.
The archive started in the 1960s when Leigh, an art student in Manchester, began decorating the envelopes he sent to his friends in other arts schools around England with collage, rubber stampings and crude drawings. He was unaware at the time of the American artist Ray Johnson (1927-1995) who had started his New York Correspondence School and was exchanging artful gifts through the postal system with his artist friends and acquaintances.
Leigh’s involvement with Mail Art grew when, in 1980, he discovered the International Mail Art Network through an exhibition at the Greenwich Theatre Gallery and was astounded to find so many like-minded individuals around the world who were exchanging art through the post. He met Hazel Jones through the
mail in 1983 and their combined archive has continued to grow.
Curious Things features a selection of material from the archive and has been specially curated by Michael Leigh and Hazel Jones, Senior Lecturer at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University.