Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lorraine Snape on RCA secret

Regular contributor to the show Lorraine Snape has written a little piece for us about her involvement in RCA secret.  The canvas which appears above is one of hers that my other half bought at RCA secret 2003 and now hangs in our daughter's bedroom.

I first heard of RCA Secret from a friend, and contributor, Ebba Erikzon. We were away in Manchester together for a few days and she was drawing on these postcards, so eventually curiosity got the better of me and I asked what she was up to! She told me about the show, having studied at the RCA herself, and asked me if I'd like her to put my name forward. Sounded like an exciting thing to be involved with. This was about 7 years ago, and I've done most years since.

I vary in my approach each time but don't go down the road of trying to mimic anyone, or pass as someone else, though I know a lot of that goes on.

I have submitted canvasses, photographs and even chocolate bars! but mostly I think the cards have been little ink drawings. So the work flits from sketches, to abstract and even conceptual work but the scale is quite different for me as generally my canvasses are 8'-10' tall!

It's quite exciting to have the blank cards turn up in the post. I always end up leaving them until it's far too late. Inevitably the deadline gets extended, and I leave it even later, and then finally I hand deliver them on the last submission day instead of getting them in the post in plenty of time.

There's a certain freedom involved in producing the works. Somehow in my head I imagine that the work is completely anonymous, and that, in itself, allows for a greater element of creativity. Although, the opposite is true, I believe that no one may ever find out they're mine.

I persuade myself easily with natural insecurity that they won't sell and therefore the card will never be turned over to reveal the true identity.  Consequently, that thought has been somewhat undermined by the college in the last couple of years, revealing, as they do, the names alongside the images on the site following the sale.

When it comes to the sale itself, well, actually the party, I'm always embarrassed walking past the tents pitched outside. November is pretty cold on the streets of London and I find it hard when people are queuing outside in advance and we artists, as contributors, swan past for our glass of free champagne and perhaps even a gift from a keen sponsor.

Once inside, it's a game to find yourself, find your own cards whilst at the same time trying to guess your friends, then onto anyone famous, and finally, which ones are your favourites.

RCA Secret is such a great all inclusive and levelling show. I always enjoy it, and having checked out the cards online and already got into the mood, this year is no exception.

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