Remarkable and Curious Conversations

Curated by Cally Trench

Alison Carter Tai and Lorraine Pepper

R&CC: The ArtistsR&CC: The Interactions

Letter sent by Alison Carter Tai to Lorraine Pepper-McCrudden

Letter sent by Alison Carter Tai to Lorraine Pepper-McCrudden

Lorraine Pepper: Alison revealed her ability to write open, informative, voluble, enquiring letters which always answered my questions with interest and which commented themselves on her past experience of letter writing - to a penfriend for example. We observed and considered our hand-writing, a vital feature of letter exchange.

Alison Carter Tai: I tried to be open and honest, and work from first principles about what letter writing is and what it can achieve. In a way mine is more of an open letter correspondence in that sense, hence my willingness to share images of that first letter now. You may be able to make out some of what I wrote, I think, though that is less the point than the fact that I hand wrote a letter to someone I had not met, which was an interesting experiment.

As it happens the reminiscence about my first pen friend living in the Vosges mountains, with whom I travelled into the Alsace region, meant that I re-examined my old scrapbook made when I was 15 in order to write to Lorraine in the spring/summer, and so when I went to visit Chung (my husband) in Basel this autumn I was very pleased once again to renew acquaintance with Alsace - a place I had not otherwise thought about much in the last 38 years! I therefore rediscovered that letter writing can be rewarding for the very act of writing, and doing the necessary research that it may require, in order to ascertain facts, and also to reflect on the very act of letter writing, the styles of handwriting, the choice of subject matter at an early stage in a correspondence, and so forth. I remain grateful for the opportunity to go through the process in this way, even though it was only the briefest of correspondences.

Alison Carter Tai
Lorraine Pepper-McCrudden

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