Friday, December 16, 2005

RCA Secret 2001

Secret 2001

Secret 2001 was the first year that cards were on the web at Bowieart. This presented a different challenge. By this stage I was much more into secrets but still not very knowledgeable about the artists exhibiting there. Of course I knew the big names, the likes of Sir Terry Frost, Nick Park, Paula Rego, Eileen Cooper etc but you have to queue for days if you want to get cards by those people.

I had again gone along on the weekend viewing and had armed myself with a long list of the cards I wanted. And I mean long. I had numbers scribbled here there and everywhere. It was mad.

This year my sister, who was studying at Cambridge at the time, wanted to come with me to the sale. We arranged to meet up at about 10 in the evening and to stay their overnight until the sale started the following morning.

Even arriving at this time we were still way down the line and it was an absolutely terrible night, pouring with rain and absolutely miserable. I didn’t really come prepared. I had no sleeping bag or tent just a pair of ski trousers and a large waterproof tarpaulin.

My mother turned up a little later (mainly to check on my sister) but came with two old duvets. Heaven.

It poured and poured all night. We chatted to some people in the queue including a guy who was buying stuff for his wife (who had recently given birth) and also a chap from Birmingham who had queued all night to buy postcards for his mother. That’s dedication for you.

Anyway by the time that 8am arrived we were tired, wet and bored. My sister had spent half of the night getting some shelter under an awning of the Royal Albert Hall.

As we went inside there was the usual anxious wait to see whether my numbers were being sold. It was nice this time though to be inside the building when the first cards were being sold and getting an opportunity to see the real excitement of the sale: the press, the hoots of delight from people when they realise they have the cards they want etc.

Anyway having got to the front of the queue I picked up my Six cards: I have to say that when the time comes to get to the front of queue it is quite dazzling and I end up getting brain ache. My head becomes full of numbers and I don’t seem to quite select the cards I really meant to get. Even so it was a reasonably good haul of cards which included

A drawing of a feather by Janet Patterson

An abstract landscape by John Hubbard

A bleak landscape scene by Jesse Ash

A bird by Stephen O’Driscoll

Two stunning rendered print-outs of leaves by artist Ben Johnson

My sister also picked up 6 cards. She didn’t get the Manolo Blahnik that she wanted but did pick up some interesting and unusual cityscapes.

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