Sunday, March 26, 2017

RIP Leonard Manasseh RA

 Leonard Manasseh was an architect.  He died earlier this month at the age of 100.  Even when into his 90's he was a regular contributor to RCA secret and I know many collectors who prized his quirky cards.  

RIP Leonard and thanks for give so many collectors such fun.  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Wake me up when September comes


A definite date and some definite information from the colleges site   The dates are confirmed for 9th September to the 15th September with the unpopular collection day back on the 16th September. 

The sale will apparently commence on 9th September, the same day the exhibition opens.

The venue has moved back to battersea, presumably to avoid a clash with the last night of the proms at the Albert hall.  A pleasingly no price increase this years, the cards will be £55 each.  

Here is the info:

Stewarts RCA Secret 2017

9 September 2017 to 15 September 2017 | Exhibition & sales 9–15 September, opening times tbc. Collection day: Saturday 16 September

Battersea, Dyson Building

RCA Secret will return to the Royal College of Art in September 2017. The RCA's annual fundraising postcard sale will feature over 2,000 postcard-sized drawings, collages, photographs and sculptures by some of the world’s most celebrated artists and designers, as well as by promising students from the College.

RCA Secret attracts high-profile art collectors and passionate art lovers. Each of the postcards on display is sold anonymously for £55, with the identity of the maker revealed only when the purchase is complete. All profits from the sale go towards the RCA Student Award Fund, which helps emerging artists at a formative stage in their careers by funding scholarships to the College.

Stewarts Law LLP is proud to sponsor the RCA Secret Exhibition. Stewarts Law is one of the UK's leading litigation law firms. They have built a strong reputation for innovative and ground breaking dispute practice.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

RCA secret will be in September this year


The college have posted on twitter that this years sale will be in September.  No definite date yet, possibly around 9th to 16th.  A little longer to wait but it will be worth it!  And warmer in the queue.

Monday, December 12, 2016

When's it going to be?

So when is the 2017 sale going to be.  No idea.  However we might get a clue from Dubai art week which is in mid march (13-18th).  Of course last year the London sale didn't coincide with Dubai but the previous year it did.  So... who knows.

I check the RCA website every so often and will keep doing so.  When I hear something you will be the first to know.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A few thoughts about the new sale process

Now the dust has settled I thought I might set out a few thoughts on the new sale process.

Firstly what worked.  I think having the sale open for longer was a definite winner.  I wasn't convinced about it all at the start but the fact is that more people got to come and see and buy.  I think I was won over when I popped in on the last day of the sale and talked to a mother and daughter who had just bought a card for the daughters bedroom and were so delighted with their purchase.

The one day bun fight just seems so far removed from this.

I think the college were brave to try some different things but some of them didn't work.  The main sale day was far too early.  I think that's the reason the queue was the shortest it's ever been.  There wasn't enough time for people to come to view.  No late night opening before the sale started, only 2 days within which to come.  The fact that the sale was on Sunday morning, with all the transport issues on a Sunday was a really bad idea as well.

To balance the good and the bad I would suggest next year the college open the exhibition earlier, say Monday or Tuesday, have the exhibition and raffle sales on all that week.  Start the sale on the Saturday morning and then keep the sale going for the next 4 or 5 days.

I'm also not convinced that collection day worked.  It felt very flat for me not getting the cards you bought there and then.  There was also no press because there was no opportunity to show pictures of people holding their cards.  Plus it must have been a lot of extra work for the college.

So what about the fewer cards?  I'm not sure why the college decided to send out fewer cards to each artist.  The gallery could easily have housed another 600 to 700 cards as it has in the past.  More cards means more choice and more funds raised.  

So a mixed bag really but I think some of the criticism directed at the college is a little unfair.  They tried something different and it didn't all work but fair play for trying it.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What do you think of the show so far?

Well it looks like only around 300 cards are left from the sale which I think could be said to be a success for the college.  That and the money raised from the raffle must mean that the show has brought in around £90,000.  Not bad at all and hopefully lots of money for future bursaries.  I did feel that the changes didn't all work and will probably post a bit about this when I do my own round up, but once the cards were online and doors opened RCA secret totally worked it's magic on me again.

Still just under 2 days left to go and buy one of the cards remaining which the college have said includes very well known musicians (Damon Albarn maybe?) and other fine artists. 

See you on collection day!

Friday, April 08, 2016

Interview with James R Ford

We caught up with one of the blogs favourite rca secret artists James R Ford for a second interview (the first one was way back in 2011).

You almost missed out on donating cards this year, you must be pleased that is now sorted?

Definitely! I look forward to the cards each year. It’s my chance to give something back and test out ideas in (now) foreign waters. I normally use the cards as a way to experiment with new work.

What's your view on how RCA secret has changed over the years - the sponsorship, the new venue in Dubai etc.

It’s definitely grown and developed, but the core principles remain. I’m unsure of the new delay in collection of the cards - flipping it over and seeing the artist’s name and signature after hours of waiting was part of the experience.

We assume that now you're based in New Zealand you don't have much chance to see the show in the flesh. Will you be logging on in April to look at the cards online?

That’s very true - I haven’t seen it in the flesh in over 7 years! I always have a look at the cards online and try to guess the famous artists. It’s a form of window shopping.

What card or cards that you've done in previous years are you most pleased with?

I’m struggling to remember them all. I liked the ones I did last year - they were simple drawings using pen and colour pencil and were very punny.

How old was Elvis Presley when he died ;) ?
Haha 42! Those cards of mine were from 2 or 3 years ago. An example of an idea for a series of works that has yet to manifest...

Any clues as to this year's donations?

The biggest clue I can give you is that my donations this year could potentially be a multitude of things.

What projects are in the pipeline for you?  Might we see a show in the UK anytime soon?
I showed in a couple of group exhibitions in London last year at/curated by FourFold and Ferreira Projects. I have a solo show coming up in early May in Wellington at The Young gallery. It will feature a suite of new drawings, a ghost full of holes and a text installation.