This year works of by well known artists such as, Paula Rego, Julian Opie and David Bailey are going on sale for just £45, at the RCA Secret postcard event. But you’ll have to spot them amongst the other 2,700 postcards on display! All of the postcards are displayed anonymously for a week in the RCA Secret exhibition at the College’s new Dyson building in Battersea then go on sale for one day only to the public for £45 each, regardless of whether it’s been made by a famous name or a young art student. Although it can help to know the different styles of the artists, a lot of it is down to pure luck and many collectors don’t realise whose work they have chosen until they hand over their cash on the sale day.
Each year, the Royal College of Art asks professional artists and designers, plus up-and-coming art students and graduates to make and donate a piece of work, the only conditions are that it has to be postcard-sized and it must be signed on the back. Artists may choose to paint, draw, sketch or even produce a 3-d sculpture as long as it’s postcard-sized. This year’s event will feature original works by renowned artists such as Paula Rego, Julian Opie, David Bailey, Christo, John Baldessari, Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park, film director Mike Leigh and from the world of fashion, Sir Paul Smith, Orla Kiely and Manolo Blahnik.
Wilhelmina Bunn, RCA Secret curator said, “We’re thrilled with the number and quality of postcards that have been sent to us this year. The breadth of artistic styles will make for a really stunning exhibition, with contributions by artists and designers from all walks of life displayed next to each other. At a time when arts education funding is being cut we’re even more grateful for this support, with donations helping the next generation of artists coming through the College.”
Potential collectors will be able to view all the postcards in person at the RCA in Battersea or on-line at www.rca.ac.uk/secret from 14 March. All postcards go on sale on Saturday 23 March on a first come, first served basis, with a maximum of four cards per person. There will also be a raffle for collectors to win a position in the first 50 places in the queue.
Now in its 20th year, the event has raised more than £1 million for the RCA Fine Art Student Award Fund, helping hundreds of emerging artists at a formative stage in their careers. RCA Secret 2013 is being exhibited for the first time in the College’s new Dyson building in Battersea which houses the studios and facilities of the School of Fine Art.
THE SECRET – The postcards are displayed anonymously and are signed on the reverse, so that the artist remains a secret until after the cards are purchased and their signature is revealed. This sale consisting of around 2,500 original postcard-sized artworks, made and donated by professional artists, designers and illustrators, plus up-and-coming students and alumni from the Royal College of Art. The cards are all sold to the public in a huge sale, with every postcard costing just £45, regardless of whether it has been made by a famous name or a young art student. Organisers say; This is the largest “Secret” to date and will raise more than £130,000 for the college’s fine art student award fund.
The collection’s curator, Wilhelmina Bunn, said: “We are enormously grateful to all of the artists who have donated postcards this year, making it the biggest event we have ever staged. “As future funding for art education is likely to be reduced, it’s encouraging that established artists and designers are willing to help support a new generation of students.”