Isambard Kingdom Brunel has been described as a risk-taking lover of danger. Much like Brusnail if you ask me.
I started volunteering at the Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre a few weeks ago. I work on the same day as a volunteer named Ernie, a kind faced retired man in his 80’s. Last week we had a conversation about Brunel and I asked Ernie if he thought he was a Reckless Engineer like the pub opposite Temple Meads suggests?
To which he replied – “If you haven’t made mistakes, you haven’t lived.”
Today I visited Spike Island for their annual Open Studios event.
The event did not disappoint! My friend Hayley and I took part in an experiential piece of art where she made a cup of tea and I sat in a tent, we admired many studios and the art work inside and we spent a significant amount of time creating in the open activity space.
Art and Power dotted Creative Challenges throughout the building and I met Jeff, who works for them and is also known for being a Bristol Gig Legend.
Jeff told me about a mail project that he was working on, writing letters to musicians. I told him about the ‘Send a Snail in the Mail‘ project and asked if he would draw a snail, to which he kindly obliged.
GLIDE – to move smoothly and continuously along, as if without effort or resistance.
Although these snails came gliding through my letterbox, I am by no means implying that they came as easy as the word glide suggests.
The journey of each snail is one of significance. I am not sure this completely makes sense but hopefully the snails will help explain – they each have a story to tell.
Thank you from the bottom of my shell for sending a snail in the mail. – I hope that each snail continues to act as a puzzle piece and can spread sillyness, thoughtfullness and a way to help us glide!
Here they are!…..
This chap came from Berlin via Devon and is by the super talented illustrator Jayde Perkin. Eine Schnecke looks like he has a lot of character, just like the people that Jayde illustrates.
This bright delight is by Ritamae a lovely lady that I used to go to school with. A rainbow came through the letterbox with this snail!
These chaps were gathered by Bakewell Hearts a fellow snail lover that I follow on Instagram. She makes wool Batts which are rather whimsical and snail like!
This is Bob, painted by Kate Murray, an illustrator and writer – ‘writing her way out of dyslexia’. He hasn’t made his trip to the mailbox just yet as Kate is waiting to back him, (all part of his journey!)
If you would like to send a snail in the mail too, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My friend James just sent me this cheeky chap! I guess snails are pretty cheeky, especially when they eat your plants! I heard that their favourite plant to eat is a Hosta! What do you do to protect both plants and snails in your garden? I know someone that carefully rehouses the snails by driving them some distance down the road to the local nature reserve.
On Friday I received this fabulous fellow from Jan who writes The Snail of Happiness blog.
Casting on, choosing wool, counting stitches and creating a masterpiece – Knitting is something that brings happiness to many.
This snail in particular got me thinking about the exhibit and how and why I want to display 365 snails. The answer of course is HAPPINESS. Not just my own, but hopefully the creators and viewers too.
Where do you find your happiness?
Whilst I was in Canada I did a course in ‘Creative Nature Connections‘ taught by Lisa Lipsett at Royal Roads University. The course sounded interesting but one of the main reasons I signed up was to meet people. There was only a few of us and we spent most of the day with our eyes closed and our fingers in a paint pallet.
At lunch time I got talking to Helga, I told her about my daily snaily and she told me about her heart a day! We become friends for the few months that I spent in Victoria. I got to see her showcase her hearts at a local gallery and spend time creating with her. Last week I received some snail mail from her and it came just at the right time. I’d been having a particularly tough morning and as I left the flat the post lady handed me the most wonderful package I ever did see.
The story of Sammy the Snail, a tale of a snail who overcomes sadness brought tears to my eyes and the card with the words ‘hahaha belly laugh’ collaged within a heart reminded me that the feelings of my morning were temporary.
I don’t know about you but when I receive a postcard, package or personal letter in the mail, I feel special (even if I did order it myself on the internet).
Glitter bottle and Pop dropped through my letterbox yesterday.
I hope that 13 year old Nell (soon to be 14) – the artist and creator of these marvellous mollusks felt just as special making them as I did receiving them and I hope that YOU feel special too because these snails are rare to find and are one of a kind.