rca secret exhibition 2013

Wednesday 13 March 2013

tomorrow the RCA’s Secret postcard art sale & exhibition returns for its twentieth year, this time at the royal college of art’s shiny new dyson building in battersea, london.

rca secret 2013 - royal college of art postcards sale


some london cabbies might not like to drive south of the river but some avid postcard art collectors no doubt will, in the scrabble to view all the RCA postcards – maybe a sports car cad (anag.) this year they’ve announced there will be 2700 postcards on show from 1000 artists!

some of this year’s more famous contributors have been variously revealed as: David Bailey, Christo, Paula Rego, Julian Opie, John Baldessari, Manolo Blanik, Paul Smith, Orla Kiely… this is where it starts to go a bit art celebrity to excite the postcard art punters. the identities of the postcards’ creators are only revealed after the sale as all postcards are anonymously displayed during the exhibition. is that a postcard by… or is it by another artist?

in addition to the more well-known, invited artists – who always seem to give a frisson of excitement to the proceedings each year – the other contributing artists are mostly students or graduates of the royal college of art.

there may also be some other artists who are neither RCA graduates nor very well-known in the world of art and design – maybe this is because RCA Secret is now a highly anticipated and regarded annual exhibition & art sale on the london art scene/map/circuit – and it’s all for a good *cause!

rca secret 2013 - royal college of art postcards exhibition

[rca secret exhibition at RCA kensington gore –  pic from the telegraph]

if you are interested in buying a RCA SECRET postcard you will need to register first at RCA Secret’s website to obtain a RCA Secret buyer’s number, any time before the big day of the sale, which is on saturday 23 march 2013, open to the public from 8am to 6pm.

the queues of buyers will probably stretch all the way to chelsea… apparently many people begin queuing in earnest from 5am, or even camp out overnight- it’s early birds an’ all that..!

each postcard costs £45 – if you love it,  it’s affordable – but note, it’s strictly limited to four purchases per person – more art for more people, fair’s fair. if you are near the front of the queue (a requirement for the serious art collector) the more choices you will have.

all the RCA secret postcards are also available to view on the RCA Secret website from thursday, 14 march 2013, enabling you to browse all 2700 postcards at your leisure before your visit to the exhibition.


i enjoy browsing the postcards online (as i have never visited the exhibition, such is the draw of the rustic idyll). most of the postcards are (or look) handmade: lots of painting, printmaking and drawing – some are mixed media or more sculptural in form within the dimensions of a traditional postcard – and there’s some photography or graphic design in the mix. all styles and genres of art can be found here, from the figurative to the abstract, the witty to the more whimsical or peculiar, and sometimes art school rebellious – all good fun.

so, a few weeks back i “made” three new postcards for RCA Secret 2013, which i cannot possibly reveal here – but i can humbly reveal that i made this:

rca secret art postcard

[love jazz, RCA SECRET postcard, 2011]

Royal College of Art, Battersea
Dyson Building
1 Hester Road
SW11 4AN

the RCA SECRET art exhibition is open to the public 14 – 22 march 2013, 11am – 6pm, late opening on thursday 21 march until 9pm.

the RCA SECRET postcard sale is on saturday 23 march 2013, open to the public from 8am to 6pm.

*proceeds from RCA Secret go to the RCA Fine Art Student Award Fund. more information about RCA Secret is on the RCA Secret website.