Client Arts Reach / Arts Council of Wales
Location Holyhead, Wales
Date 2014

IDEAS : PEOPLE : PLACES, An arts strategy to embed the arts in a genuine and meaningful way, in a small number of imaginative and innovative regeneration projects, funded by the Arts Council of Wales.


Creative sessions with pupils of: Kingsland Primary School and youth session, Holyhead, North Wales

The following text is from the project plan whic was delivered as a series of collaborative sessions on 4th July 2014:

‘Exploration of selected graphic postcard styles using iconic imagery of Holyhead.’

We will explore the local heritage of Holyhead and the present aspirations of the town through a series of creative sessions under the umbrella theme of postcards.

‘Postcards are an amalgam of history, collective memory and individual interpretation – as well as personnel mementos….

…. time made postcards into an object of sociological, historical and aesthetic study’ from an introduction to Martin Parr’s book, ‘Postcards’, by Thomas Weski.

The above quotes do sound a bit highbrow for a description of what is simply a postcard, but postcards can represent and express many different facets of a place, time and a community.

Through the workshops described below it is hoped that participants will select images that interest them and represent Holyhead. It is hoped that through this creative process they will explore what they find attractive about the town and its surroundings and which areas might be improved with art. How might images of Holyhead, using postcard iconography, be installed/used in the town to create interest and generate talking points and encourage people to visit? Is there scope for creating a sign system using a cohesive postcard iconography approach?

There are many different styles of postcards that have been produced over the years and for the sessions we’ll dip into a couple of these styles.


One format for postcards uses a tile or grid layout as shown below. Another style employs the outline of every day images that have some kind of association with the area; the outline of this shape it then filled with a scene from that particular place. It is these two themes that will be explored.

Working in pairs the children will be given an A2 piece of white corex. They will select from a wide variety of imagery relating to Holyhead combined with images of more random everyday objects.

Cutting out selected imagery a montage will be made. Using the outer shapes of the more everyday images, the imagery (mostly landscapes and streetscapes) relating to Holyhead will be cut out, in similar fashion to the postcards shown above.

I will be producing a series of A2 paper grids that the children will place over their arranged montages. These grids will be similar to those shown above.

Other aspects that will be explored are the way postcards are printed and how they can look close up. Magnifying glasses will be provided together with a small selection of my personnel postcard collection.

By the end of the sessions there should be series of exciting postcard artworks made combining not just iconic imagery of Holyhead but references to the individuals’ personalities. The artworks will be of a good scale and robust.

Using a tripod and SLR camera, the pupils will photograph their postcard design.

During the entire process and as part of the introduction and summary, topics will be informally discussed relating to where these artworks could be positioned within Holyhead and how perhaps they could function as Waymarkers or signs.

Youth session.
Sessions pm 5th July 2014

I’m hoping to explore a different aspect of postcard design here where the reverse side and the graphic and messaging is explored.
I’ll supply an 8x4ft correx panel and as a group we’ll make the reverse side of a postcard that will have the space of the stamp cut out. The panel will be photographed with individual kids’ heads in the stamp area. Messages by the kids will be written on large sheets of paper and added to the message area of the postcard.