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Student Showcase Archive

Stewarts Law RCA Secret 2016 Opens its Doors

The annual anonymous postcard exhibition and fundraising sale has returned to the College’s Kensington campus. Almost 2,000 postcard-sized works of art are on display from 11am 8 April, and will be available to purchase from 8am Sunday 10 April.

This year, contributions come from current students, friends of the college and renowned alumni including Peter Blake, Jake Chapman, Alison Wilding, Lubaina Himid, Frank Bowling, Zandra Rhodes, Thomas Heatherwick and Sir James Dyson.

RCA Secret, now in its 22nd year, is London’s original secret postcard sale. The fundraising event offers canny collectors and art aficionados the chance to take home original artworks for the fixed price of £55. All proceeds from the sale go towards The RCA Fund, which provides vital scholarships to students in need of financial support to continue their studies.

Internationally acclaimed artists Steve McQueen, Jeremy Deller, Grayson Perry, Anish Kapoor, David Bailey, Yinka Shonibare, Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Kosuth, Maggi Hambling, and Marion Coutts have all donated bespoke works to this year’s exhibition and sale. Buyers have the opportunity to purchase theses artworks at a very affordable price, the only catch being that the creator of each work is kept secret until they are purchased.

The exhibition includes original works by promising students from the College as well as from hundreds of established artists, ceramicists, sculptors, cartoonists, illustrators and designers. Amongst them are works by rising stars of the art world James Mylne, Henry Hudson, Basil Alkazzi and Ewa Wilczynsk, and musicians Damon Albarn, William Orbit and Pete Fowler. Contributions from world of design include Margaret Calvert, Marta Jacubowski, jewellers Theo Fennell and Emma Paolozzi and footwear designer Sophia Webster, who was recently awarded the BFC Vogue Fashion Fund.

Although each work is restricted to being postcard sized the approaches vary widely across photography, collage, drawing, painting, and even include sculpture and embroidery. A vast array of subject matters is covered, with something to please all tastes.

An inadvertent but notable trend for 2016 is the depiction of David Bowie. At least a dozen postcards have been inspired by, or created in homage to the sadly missed cultural icon. Bowie was a keen patron of the arts and sponsored RCA Secret in 2000 and 2001. Earlier this year a search began in an attempt to locate the owner of a postcard by Bowie that was sold at RCA Secret in 2001. Although the whereabouts of the missing postcard is still unknown, his presence in the exhibition through the works of others demonstrates his ongoing influence and legacy.

The exhibition and sale at Kensington aims to continue the success of RCA Secret Dubai, which took place last month as part of Art Dubai. This is the second year that RCA Secret has staged two exhibitions, offering an international audience the chance to purchase original artworks and support the next generation of artists.

The exhibition is open at Kensington Gore 8–15 April, 11am – 6pm

Each work will be available to purchase from 8am on 10 April until the exhibition closes on the 15 April. Sold works will remain on display until the end of the exhibition and can be collected on 16 April.

For full details of the exhibition and to register as a buyer visit the Stewarts Law RCA Secret website.