Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project


Dear You as part of InSEA's ocean of food for thought!

2019Arlene TuckerComment

The European InSEA 2018 congress proceedings publication has been published! Arlene Tucker presented on behalf of Dear You during the congress in Finland, in June 2018. The abstract from the presentation, Dear You: Shared Spheres in Creative Spaces was written by Anastasia Artemeva and Arlene Tucker. It can be read on pages 891-892 of Synnyt-Origins, InSEA Congress 2018: Scientific and Social Interventions in Art Education.

Mira Kallio-Tavin and Oleksandra Sushchenko (co-editors of the issue) have “divided the issue thematically according to the congress themes and between peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed submissions, and visual essays and full papers. The rest of the presentations are published as abstracts. All in all, the publication includes 325 submissions and it takes 1473 pages.”

The link to the issue:

Feeling very honored to have been a part of Synnyt-Origins where I could meet so many talented, creative, and encouraging art educators from around the world!

With love,
Dear You

Do you have Jellyfish in Ireland?

2019, 3 years old, 4 years old, 5 years old, 6 years old, 7 years old, 8 years olds, 9 years old, 10 years old, 11 years old, AustraliaArlene TuckerComment

After life had taken a hold of us all here in Australia with the colder weather upon us, two of the families finally managed to meet for our second session.

All were super excited to open the parcel from Ireland and see what our friends had sent. They were very impressed with the drawings but also with the information that they conveyed. They all started asking so many questions, which was great because that was exactly what today’s session was about!

After introducing different types of graphics and typography the group got to work on the question/s they wanted to ask. They all naturally began by drawing what their interests were and the question they wanted to ask their Irish friends came later in text form.

Due to the age range from 3 to 11 the questions varied from ‘Do you have Jellyfish in Ireland’, ‘Do you like swimming?’, ‘Do you like rain?’ and ‘Do you like monsters?’

Looking forward to the next session seeing what our friends have to say.

Amal Laala

The home schoolers in Geelong, Australia are making and sharing with the homeschoolers in Derreen, Ireland.

Integrating Celtic calligraphy into our art

2019, Mixed age groupArlene TuckerComment

On this 2nd project "The Art of Asking Questions" we provided for inspiration a couple of printed letter books. One with old fashion printing fonts and the other with intrinsic Celtic calligraphy. Also letter stamps and different art materials brushes, watercolour and acrylics, oil pastels...and so on. We talked about friendship and what sort of interests do they share with their friends and what would they like to know about their new friends in Australia. They were asked to incorporate one question only in their art work which took them a while to decide since naturally they were curious about many things. It was suggested to add a letter with their artwork if they thought a question was too little to express. But eventually they were happy with painting while talking about all the possible questions. The interesting thing was in order to cultivate this friendship they thought of asking questions about their opinions on certain topics. Topics that are relevant to them now and not so much about differences of lifestyles between Australia and Ireland which we also talked about but they decided to focus on what do they have in common instead of what it was different.

Another enjoyable session that could have last for hours. Thank you!

Marta, Carol & Gabrielle

Derreen home schoolers in Derreen, Ireland are making and sharing art with the homeschoolers in Geelong, Australia.

Artists from Australia gather for a day of making art!

2019, AustraliaArlene TuckerComment

We began home schooling our 6 year old daughter last year and were thrown into a new area where we have bonded with some wonderful families here in Geelong, Australia. As an artist myself I had been thinking of doing workshops with a small group of the community and Dear You seemed like a great way to begin the journey.


I asked two other families to join us as a pilot (so we could all fit into my house) and we began. The kids were all excited to see each other so they had a run around and catch up - as did us mums – and then we gathered around the table. We began by discussing about ourselves and about what uniqueness means. Many of them wanted to get into the activity and were shy to discuss so after a short discussion we began drawing and each talking while we worked about our travels, the things we like and our body parts. They were all interested in learning more about Ireland, the other group and children. They were not sure exactly what to share but enjoyed the notion of someone far away sending them something.


Next session we will incorporate geography and speak about the country and area our friends are from. Also showing them what our friends have sent them will encourage them to share more about themselves as it all seems much more real. Looking forward to the next meet up and in getting something special in the mail.

Amal Laala

The home schoolers in Geelong, Australia are making and sharing with the homeschoolers in Derreen, Ireland.

The artists from Ireland creatively show their friends in Australia just how unique they are!

Mixed age group, 2019, IrelandArlene TuckerComment

We gathered one morning with our group, 6 children and 3 of the parents who have been growing together for the past 11 years. Over the years our process of learning, living in close proximity, friendships and communing has been changing and shaping the way we all learn and enjoy sharing our time. We have been inspired throughout the years by the aliveness of each of the children here and their self directed learning.

From that place we met in the spirit of connecting with this group of homeschoolers in Australia, all the children were curious and excited. The artistic part of the project was free and enjoyable, with no expectations or final outcomes, just a beginning of connecting and sharing, and who knows how this unfolds… Coming together individually with a communal vision seemed to have a playful tone that stayed throughout the session.

On the first proposal they were invited to explore the idea of uniqueness and draw a self portrait using a graphite transfer technique. We noticed the importance of setting some ground principles of respect and care, and non-judgemental comments on each other’s work. We talked about Perseus paradox and that made us move from the physical differences to more metaphysical concepts. Due to the nature of our group, being small numbers and not in a classroom environment, our conversations were very informal. But they were also very focused on their work. Some struggled with the instructions as wanting to express themselves more freely. They were all able to create a piece that said something about themselves and their uniqueness and they were enthusiastic about sharing it with someone else.  Also eager to receive the artworks from the other kids in Australia. I think they were all happy to participate in creating connexions through art.

Marta, Carol & Gabrielle

Derreen home schoolers in Derreen, Ireland are making and sharing art with the homeschoolers in Geelong, Australia.