Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project


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.

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.

Dear You calling homeschoolers!

2018Arlene TuckerComment

Dear You is starting a new series with homeschoolers! You and your child can find a friend from abroad to make and share art with. This can be done individually and/or in small groups.

Dear You is similar to having pen friends, except that in this project, every correspondence gives the opportunity for the participants to share about themselves and to be open to their new friends through traditional letter writing and mail art exchange. Every participant will receive an age-appropriate Dear You monthly art project, which all the artists will create and then mail to each other.  The monthly art projects offer creative approaches for self-expression whilst making collective and interdisciplinary artwork with their friends from abroad.  In Dear You, the focus is on the process, not necessarily the end result and it is integrative with where the students are in their learning journey.

The homeschool teacher will assist in all these fun and creative things to share- anything that fits in an envelope! There is freedom for all participants to take these prompts in any direction they wish. Who knows where this creative exchange will take you? That’s exciting! : ).

This program is run on a monthly basis and has two sessions, each lasting 4 months each. The first session is from September to December and the second is from January to April. The only thing I ask for is that a time commitment is confirmed so that the students in both countries will know how long they will be corresponding with their new friend.

If you are in the Geelong, Australia feel free to reach out to Amal Laala at amallaala(at) to learn more about how you can get involved. There is the possibility for local participants to meet on a monthly basis.

For all other parts of the world, contact Arlene Tucker at arlene.dearyou(at)

Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you!

Our best,

Arlene & Amal