Sales of Oriele's postcards are now closed

Banner image: Oriele's postcards, 'Snacking alone,' 'The best meal of the week,' 'Pressure cooker delights,' and 'What's your flavour' (all 2021).

This Blue Monday, which feels as though it might just be the bluest of its kind, we are launching a new commission with painter Oriele Steiner. ‘Cards for Connection’ is a campaign designed to stimulate interaction and community, but also to offer affordable ways for people to bring beauty and art into their homes. Oriele has designed four postcards, available to buy as a set from the Shape website, created either for you to keep in your home or for you to send on as messages to those you love.

At Shape, we are aware of two things. Firstly, although we know our community was already in possession of this knowledge, this year has highlighted fault lines in our society and reminded people that connection and solidarity are fundamental to our shared fulfilment. Relationships and support have been put at great risk and no more so than for disabled people.

Secondly, we know how testing and tumultuous the past year has been for artists. We endeavour to help disabled artists by creating, sharing, and signposting paid opportunities throughout the year as standard; we know the value of a single sale or a spontaneous commission.

With this in mind, we hope that ‘Cards for Connection’ offers two things in return. Primarily, we want to encourage you to communicate and connect with those around you, safely, at a moment when it seems almost impossible to do so meaningfully. But whether you decide to send a postcard or not, we also want to remind you of the value of art - big or small. Stick these postcards to your fridge, your mirror, your bedroom door. Frame them or tape them, the important thing is that you remember you are allowed to enjoy such things and that, in return, artists are supported and can continue to thrive. 

We can provide stamps to those who are sure they want to send their postcards on, in order to make connection as easy as possible. We are also offering anyone shielding the choice to ask us to write and send the cards on their behalf, just email [email protected] if this applies to you and you would like to know more.

The campaign will run from now until mid-February, but we recommend buying a set sooner rather than later! 

Please note we can deliver to you if you live internationally but cannot provide international stamps or postage with the set of cards. We can, however, post internationally on your behalf if you are shielding. 

Buying Options

You can purchase the postcards in the following formats:

  • A set of four on their own, no stamps
  • A set of four with four first class stamps
  • Four sets of four postcards, no stamps

Delivery is an additional charge. 

The Designs

In this painting, in which deep fiery reds and oranges dominate, a lone hairless figure in black sits cross legged in what might be a grassy meadow, their head reclined slightly as they go to drop into their open mouth what appears to be a fruit or biscuit, of a flaxen yellowish colour. Cupped in their left hand is a bowl of other such foods; the warm and playful mood suggests they may well end up eating them all.

'Snacking alone' (2021)

In this painting, a lone figure sits cross legged against a cloudy powder-blue wash, eating a bag of crisps from an unlabelled lime green packet. With their head thrown back, curly brown hair trailing past their shoulder, they appear to be enjoying themselves.  The mood is vibrant, almost celebratory, with ease of movement suggested by their posture and their dark loose clothing offset by the strong palette of colours the artist has chosen: we find deep reds in their skin tone; and the blue and yellow striped waistcoat they wear is almost suggestive of harlequinade.

'What's your flavour' (2021)

In this painting, a lone figure reclines with a steaming bowl scooped in one hand, the other dipping into it as if to gather something they will place in their open mouth. Set against a swirling, moody backdrop of turquoise shades, the figure, with deep red skin tones, is clothed in vibrant orange checks, and  with their printed stars and ruffed neck, is adorned in a way that seems to match the mood of festivity the painter celebrates.

'The best meal of the week' (2021)

In this painting, two figures bend over a steaming bowl, suggesting a collaborative to cooking food, and perhaps also eating it. Set against a cloudy mustard wash, their deep red skin tones and salmon coloured loose clothing suggests a vibrancy and warmth that helps communicates a mood of easeful living and the enjoyment inherent in sharing simple daily pleasures.

'Pressure cooker delights' (2021)

About Oriele Steiner

Oriele’s practice explores a variety of painting techniques and processes, using colour and light as primary modes of experimentation. She is interested in a palette’s ability to evoke emotion, whether through direct, singular use or via juxtaposition and dissonance. 

Her compositions depict vivid dreamscapes and the figures within create a sense of eeriness. The figures themselves often make their way into her direct environment via found photography, imagination, and drawings. 

Organic forms taken from this imagery transform themselves into a range of motifs which dominate her work. These motifs are her way of building up a relationship with the imagery and Oriele continually builds upon this visual alphabet through uninhibited, free-associative drawing and painting. This results in a childlike quality that represents immediate, impulsive thoughts. 

In her most recent body of work, ‘My mouth is bored,' (which these postcards are a part of) Oriele explores her relationship with food using humour and personal experiences - something artists have done  at various points in history. In his painting ‘The Ricotta Eaters,' Vincenzi Campi paints himself as an over-indulging peasant. The humorous composition and figuration of him and his fellow diners is intended to confront all kinds of questions and taboos around the position of food in society, class, and culture at the time. These dichotomies - of capitalism, personal health, and addiction fascinate Oriele, as seen in her recent painting ‘A balanced Diet’ where she investigates her own relationship with these contradictions through the use of humorous, sarcastic imagery. 

Follow Oriele on Instagram.

Environmental Sustainability

In order to offer printed materials we have enlisted the support of Park Lane Press who are printing Oriele’s designs onto 100% recycled materials using an innovative waterless printing process. Though we hope you won’t have need to, the postcards are also entirely recyclable themselves! You can read more about Park Lane Press' approach to environmental sustainability here

COVID Safety

All deliveries will be made by the same member of staff. Any contact with the cards will be preceded by much hand-sanitiser. If this member of staff at any stage develops symptoms of coronavirus, they will cease to be responsible for posting the cards. 

Expected Delivery Times

You will be able to purchase Oriele’s cards from January 18th onwards. Deliveries will begin on Friday 23rd Jan and then continue daily, second class through Royal Mail. If you are concerned about the status of your order, please email [email protected]