Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison
20th of February – 20th of April, 2007
Mailbox 141, 141–143 Flinders Lane, Melbourne


In the eighteen small wooden mailboxes of Mailbox 141, for a period of two months, small scale, imaginary journeys were made visible and endangered animals took to the stage.

If we stand very still no one will notice featured collage works on original postcards collected from various countries neither of us had visited, and watercolour and pencil drawings on paper. In this collection, polar bears sported bright yellow floatation devices (to make easier their long arctic swims). They jostled for space alongside owls bearing precious stones, and miniature oncillas from South America ready to assist with the untying of one’s eyelashes.

‘Posted’ in the glass fronted mailboxes of Mailbox 141, these new works were placed in loose, house-of-cards formations, to give the impression of having been recently delivered and awaiting collection. A delicate, loosely constructed, handful of mail, depicting imaginary lands where pink diamonds littered the Japanese skyline, and newly found companions were not to be trusted.

We greatly enjoyed constructing this miniature world for you, eking out a space removed from its original context.


List of works
(Left to right, top to bottom)

Mailbox 1
Louise Jennison
A Crab-eater Seal and two Australian Fur Seals test the waters

Mailbox 2
Louise Jennison
Black Bear with money to buy back her habitat
Two Polar Bears with lights
A Brown Bear, wishing he had more
A Humpback Whale sings for 22 hours serenading fishermen

Mailbox 3
Louise Jennison
A band of Tasmanian Devils join forces to protect the Long Footed Potoroos

Mailbox 4
Gracia Haby
They are discussing environmental policies
How did we end up here?
A blue faced female Black-naped Monarch whispers the secrets of the world to me but I am unimpressed

Mailbox 5
Gracia Haby
Where I can be myself
Red Fox Return
The Pigeon River Hotel seemed so very far away
They gave me no chance to reply

Mailbox 6
Gracia Haby
Which way to the Emerald lake?
We thought we knew a great deal, but really we knew nothing
In Montevideo they could be themselves

Mailbox 7
Louise Jennison
A Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat counts his 70 remaining friends
A quoka wearing a ‘Don’t Feed Me’ badge
A Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat takes refuge

Mailbox 8
Gracia Haby
It made for a different vantage point
The longer I stood there, the less I understood
She was unsure of her new owl companion

Mailbox 9
Louise Jennison
An aurora of polar bears with floatation devices

Mailbox 10
Louise Jennison
An endangered Hector’s Dolphin jumps to cleaner waters

Mailbox 11
Gracia Haby
All the thieves, they all tended to hide their jewels in the one spot
It produced what no other refractory in Beirut could
He traveled for some time without incident
If we stand very still, no one will notice

Mailbox 12
Louise Jennison
Three motocross riders attempt to cast a shadow of an Eastern Broad-nosed Bat on the earth beneath them

Mailbox 13
Gracia Haby
If only the Northern Hopping Mouse thought to look behind him
Please, help me untie my eyelashes
Enough to make a cloak and a hood, and a pair of warm mittens
I never knew I’d miss you

Mailbox 14
Gracia Haby
All was not as it ought
The things we left behind
We once watched the grassy plains, now we watch nothing
He spoke through his nose

Mailbox 15
Louise Jennison
Four wrens with strings attached

Mailbox 16
Gracia Haby
I can’t see what you see
It was not the objects that bewitched him, it was the order in which they were arranged
From here we can see the Adriatic sea

Mailbox 17
Louise Jennison
Two wrens watch the wind change
Two Tasmanian Tigers imagine they still exist

Mailbox 18
Gracia Haby
Everything that reminds me of you makes me unbelievably sad
A small discovery, Guanajuato, Mexico
I still don’t trust them
The country we invented turned out to be the Canadian Rockies


Around the galleries
Megan Backhouse

The Age A2, Saturday, 10th March, 2007

The postcards Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison have posted here come from far-away places and long-ago times, with out-of-context twists owls and diamonds say pasted over the top. In the same vein, human accoutrements wine glasses, dollar notes, children’s floaties are incorporated into the drawings of endangered animals slipped into other mailboxes here. These two artists are frequent collaborators, with Haby responsible for the collage on postcards and Jennison for the watercolour and pencil drawings.

Until April 20th.


Gracia Haby, And so it would seem, not all the best hiding places were taken, 2010, postcard collage