• Susan Hamer

Reframing and Reinvention

The BM Envelope Show

May - June 2022


Inspired by the Margaret Mellis show reusing found materials @townergallery (showing til end Jan 2022), @bluemonkeynet in conjunction with @edgelandmodern have initiated an open call to all artists to complete works involving used envelopes.


This idea is based on the common belief that most significant design ideas are first given form on the back of an envelope.




All the works I have entered for the show, originated from two A4 pen and ink drawings, inspired by the remains of the WWII tank barriers down at Cuckmere Haven, in East Sussex (see above).

In each artwork, I have re-used an envelope as a stencil with cut-out windows, to make new selections from the parts of the original drawing I found interesting. This technique of using a cut-out frame to make a new composition from a selection, is one I use a lot in my art practice. I normally use found cards or scraps of paper to make stencil cut-outs, so using old envelopes seemed a natural material to use.


This re-invention of the original art work using a stencil to crop, zoom-in and re-frame the image, creates a more fragmented, abstract composition; this disconnect provides a new strangeness to the subject matter.


Recycle-Envelope #1
Recycle-Envelope #1
Recycle-Envelope #1

This uses the back of the envelope with eight cut-outs to zoom in on small parts of the original landscape to be given focus. There is also the obvious pun on the fact that the envelope reminds the user to politely, “recycle”, which ineffect, is what I am doing with the image!




Please do not bend - Envelope #2
Please do not bend - Envelope #2
Please do not bend - Envelope #2

This envelope is used as a stencil with eight cut-outs to reveal only the individual tank barriers from the original drawing. I first started this work on the day Russia sadly invaded the Ukraine, so the polite request on the envelope, “Please do not bend” seemed to give the tank barriers an added poignancy.



Please do not bend - Envelope #3
Please do not bend - Envelope #3


Please do not bend - Envelope #3

This "Please do not bend" envelope is used as a stencil with three cut-out windows to reveal more of the original drawing and two individual tank barriers.