Pocket Prints Postcards

They may be small, but it's what you do with them at Belfast Print Workshop

Size doesn’t matter. At least that’s what the folks at Belfast Print Workshop would have you believe, and they make a convincing and colourful case with their Pocket Prints Postcards exhibition.

‘The exhibition is made up of small postcard-sized prints in a variety of different styles,’ gallery manager Alice Dixon explains. She walks around the cool, white space that has dozens of pictures strung up loosely on the walls. Prices range from £15 to £50 for a selection of bright, evocative canvases by various artists.

‘It’s colourful, it’s enjoyable and it’s nice that people can just come in and take a piece of art off the wall without having to think about their budget,' adds Dixon.

Michael Hart’s brightly coloured mono-prints are strung along a wall at the back of the gallery, all fluttering reds and yellows like Carmen Miranda’s washing line. They are all similar, but each is slightly different from its neighbour. Nearby a sketch of green cats-eye glasses sits neatly above the caption, ‘What a spectacle'.

The satirical postcards are perhaps the most tempting, with their bright hues and awkward angles framing sly humour. On a bright green background scattered with daisies, artfully clumsy black lettering spells out the sentiment, ‘Weather is here! Wish you were beautiful!’. It’s not a new joke, but the giddy cheer of the art defies you not to enjoy it.

There are also scratchy ink sketches of Belfast architecture and graphite drawings that are all shades and shadows rubbed into the canvas. A series of animal paintings hang on the wall near the front desk, horses, dogs and crows. Black paint spatters the edges and corners of the paper. It’s hard to tell whether the creatures are about to emerge from it or be consumed. They are caught in the moment.

Dixon points out that although small, the postcards are perfectly formed and that for your money you get a unique artwork. ‘I think £20 is an extremely reasonable price for an original piece of art. It’s not just printed off a photocopier, after all.’

It is tempting to pluck a postcard, or three, from the line. What else would you get for £20 in today’s economy? A t-shirt? A pair of jeans? Parking for the day in Belfast?

Still, is there really any purpose to a piece of art that could be used as a bookmark? Well, you know the saying. It’s what you do with it that counts.

Pocket Prints Postcard runs at Belfast Print Workshop until July 31.

Tammy Moore