Mark Hartzheim
Letters Home
Letters Home (In honor of my parents)
This series relates back to my student days, after I had first come to Germany from the US in the 1970's. Apart from the rare long-distance phone call, letters became my lifeline to home. About once a month I corresponded with my parents, always writing on thin airmail paper to save any unnecessary postage. A while back I by chance discovered one of the writing pads I had used long ago. A solitary page was left on it, literally engraved with traces of countless letters. Intrigued by this "message from the past", I decided to bring the vestiges of writing back to light. Letter from a New Country is the result. This drawing set the idea in motion...
I recommenced writing to my parents. Although they had passed away several years ago, this didn't seem to be an obstacle; I was convinced they would "hear" every word. I wrote on airmail paper, using carbon paper to produce a copy of each letter. The originals I kept, the copies were transformed. Because of the very personal nature of the contents, the legibility has been deliberately minimized, or the text hidden by the envelope. Written fragments and/or the title may give a clue as to the content. The last three pictures evolved in the same way as the first, as traces which, at first unwittingly, were formed on a sheet of paper under the letters I was writing.

© 2020 Mark Hartzheim