Mysterious Postcards

by Northern Life


On a bitterly cold January evening, just before the snow began to blanket the cobbles, postcards discreetly found their way into the letterboxes of Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall.

Locals marvelled at the beautiful handmade lino prints left on their doormats. The HX7 in the corner of each picture hinted that the location in each postcard was somewhere in the area. Neighbours engaged in animated discussions, speculating on the picturesque locations depicted in each postcard. Surprisingly, friends on opposite sides of town discovered they had both received one. The origin of these enchanting postcards remained shrouded in mystery, as if they had materialised by magic, leaving no trace of the elusive artist. And that, precisely, was Ethan Medd’s intention.


“I wanted to get people talking,” architecture student and mystery postcard maker Ethan Medd smiles. “I wanted it to be something neighbours could chat about. Ask about the potential locations, speculate on their motives, and savour the mystery of having this little piece of art in their homes.

“It does feel like a community there. There’s almost a magnetism that seems to attract people to it.”

“As part of my master’s project, I was thinking about an idea called ‘bodily engagement’ – appreciating that we need daily physical interactions with people. As technology, supermarkets, Amazon, and phones separate us further, we lose physical connection. Through the postcards, I wanted to remind people of the importance of physical connection.”

Ethan’s postcards

The strong sense of community led Ethan, originally from Saltaire, to complete his project in Hebden Bridge. “It does feel like a community there. There’s almost a magnetism that seems to attract people to it. There’s an understanding of the importance of connection.”

In all, Ethan handmade and posted 783 postcards. Many ended up on fridges, stuck to walls, and placed where they can easily be spotted. They’re there not only as beautiful art but also to spark a chat, build connections, and foster a sense of community.

NorthernLife Mar/Apr/May 23