An exhibition of more than 1,000 postcards created during ‘lockdown’ will be on show at Newlyn Art Gallery from September 19.

In May during full lockdown Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange invited people to record their life in lockdown on a series of postcards with the promise that all of the cards returned would be included in an exhibition at the gallery later in the year. Any medium was allowed, as long as it could go on an A5 postcard.

In total nearly 6,000 postcards were sent out to places as far flung as Taiwan, Vermont and Norway, and as close as Regent Terrace in Penzance and Gwavas in Newlyn. Postcards were sent to babies and nonagenarians, to people struggling even before the lockdown, to key workers and to those who found positives in the quieter pace of life.

“Extraordinary Postcards was started as a way to keep in touch with our audience but a brilliant unintended consequence has been how many new friends we’ve made across the community and across the world,” said director James Green.

“We quickly realised it was an ideal opportunity to make new friends and reconnect with groups we had worked with in the past and, with Feast’s help, we reprinted a second run of 3,000 cards. They went out to groups including schools in lockdown, the Penzance foodbank, St Petroc’s Homeless Charity, Whole Again Communities in Treneere, residential care locations and older peoples’ groups including our own Tea, Cake & Art.

"We also reached WILD Young Parents’ group, Shallal, Intercom Trust serving young LGBTQIA+ people, Rio Gamechanger artists, art student groups, Cornwall Library Service including the Mobile Library, and groups, informal and formal, of people using art to enable wellbeing.

“The postcards have given people a little opportunity to let us, and each other, know how they’ve been feeling. They are poignant and funny, and often tell a big story. They’re beautifully made and experimental, sometimes sad but always thoughtful."

All of the cards returned by the deadline of September 12 will be displayed in the upper lantern gallery at Newlyn Art Gallery from September 19, 2020 to January 2, 2021.

For those unable to visit in person the gallery will also be showing them via its website.