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Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?

Bodman, Sarah; Parr, Linda ; Campbell, Nancy ; Bíro, Csilla

Should we have stayed at home and thought of here? Thumbnail


Linda Parr

Nancy Campbell

Csilla Bíro


A collaboration with 98 national and international artists responding to texts by Elizabeth Bishop, Nancy Campbell, W. G. Sebald & Olga Tokarczuk. Bower Ashton Library, UWE Bristol, UK online exhibition and mail art exchange. Coordinated in collaboration with Linda Parr for World Book Night 2020. 23/04/20 – 30/06/20.


Bodman, S., Parr, L., Campbell, N., & Bíro, C. Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?. [online exhibition of physical postcards]. Exhibited at Bristol. 23 April 2020 - 30 June 2020. (Unpublished)

Exhibition Performance Type Exhibition
Start Date Apr 23, 2020
End Date Jun 30, 2020
Deposit Date Jul 30, 2020
Publicly Available Date Aug 3, 2020
Keywords art, mail art. World Book Night
Public URL
Related Public URLs
Additional Information Launched as a virtual exhibition on World Book Night – Thursday 23rd April 2020.

The WBN United Artists selected texts for 2020 were nominated by Csilla Bíro, Sarah Bodman, Nancy Campbell and Linda Parr. In light of Nancy Campbell’s book The Library of Ice: Readings from a Cold Climate (Scribner, 2018) we decided not to travel. Instead we travelled virtually through fiction and libraries. Our set texts for WBN 2020 were: W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn (New Directions Books, 1998), Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2018), and the poem ‘Questions of Travel’ by Elizabeth Bishop (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1965). We asked people to sit in libraries (real or imagined), read books and travel through their imagination. Little did we know when we set the brief how horribly relevant it would become as Covid-19 created pandemic lockdowns around the world.

98 artists joined the project, sending us 113 postcards from Argentina, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Nepal, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, UK and USA.

WBN United artists had originally planned to physically exhibit all the postcards together over the month of April 2020 at Bower Ashton Library here at UWE Bristol. However, our plans adapted as public spaces closed. Instead WBN United Artists present to you our exhibition in a Postcard Album, with all the postcards gathered together, and placed within by Sarah Bodman as they arrived in the physical and virtual post.


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