Royal College of Arts – A Secret Success

As promised in last week’s post Art in London: RCA Secret I have this week spoken to Willhelmina Bunn, curator of the 20th annual RCA Secret exhibition about this year’s success…

Jeanette McCulloch

With 2,700 postcards on sale how much time and work went into putting the exhibition together? 

“The event does take a lot of careful planning and we work on it for about 6 months of the year, mostly on a part-time basis.”

Christopher Bailey

Has it always been this popular?

“The popularity of the event has grown year on year and we have lots of fans and regular visitors who have been coming for a long time.”

Anthony Mayer

So why specifically postcards?

“The postcard size format was the idea of a canny fine art student 20 years ago who came up with the initial idea and we’ve stuck with the format because it makes it accessible in several ways – by asking artists to make a small piece of work we hope we’re not asking them to take too much of their time; the postcards are easy and cheap to post out and for artists to send them back; they are easy to exhibit in the exhibition and we can also keep the works at an affordable price of £45.”

Leonora Robinson

In its 20 years do you think this model of selling artwork has had any reflection or affect on how accessible the art industry is?

“It’s unlikely that RCA Secret has had an impact on the accessibility of the art industry, the aim of the event is to give the public access to affordable works of art by artists whose work they would never normally be able to buy for £45.”

David Bailey

What does the exhibition do for students emerging from the RCA?

“The exhibition gives the RCA Fine Art students the opportunity to have their work exhibited with hundreds of other artists who perhaps they might never normally exhibit alongside. It also allows the public to buy their work without them having any pre-conceptions of who they are as artists. Many of the collectors who come to the event will get in touch with students whose postcard they’ve bought and then subsequently buy further pieces of work or they come along to their graduate shows and follow their careers.”

Andy Altmann

Over 1,000 people braved the snow on Saturday and 2,500 postcards were sold raising over £111,000 for the RCA Fine Art Student Award Fund.

All postcards can be viewed here with the secret artists revealed!

Did you go? Get in touch at:
or tweet me at @XstaticGibbo

(Scroll over images above to reveal the artist)

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