Tuesday, 30 May 2017

RCA Secret Postcards 2017

It seems that the secret postcard season is almost upon us again. Having recently completed and donated four A5 postcard-sized artworks for the OliBennett charity sale (which takes place on 22nd June 2017), it is now time for me to send off the two works that I have just finished for the Royal College of Art's annual secret postcard exhibition and sale.

If not the first (for all I know it may well be), then the RCA's secret postcard sale is definitely the most famous, and the one which kicked off the recent trend. For those that still don't know how the sale works, and surely there can't be that many of you now, here's what the RCA site has to say on the matter -

"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".

I've been one of the participating RCA Secret artists for the last fifteen years or so now. As the identities of the postcards' creators are kept secret until the point of purchase on the day of the sale I obviously can't let you know beforehand which pieces in the show are mine (I may have mischievously broken this rule one year), but to give you a fighting chance of guessing, all I'll say is that the four small paintings you see here were created at the same time as my two entries for this year.


Dyson Gallery

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

Exhibition and Sale

9–15 September
9am – 6pm

Late Opening

11 and 15 September, until 8pm

Collection Day

16 April, 9am


Tuesday, 16 May 2017


I'm pleased to announce that two of my sculptures, 'Magnet' (the middle piece, of the three images below) and 'Baby Kit', will be appearing in this Summer's 'The Toy Box: From Pop to Present' exhibition (curated by Jason White) at the Civic in Barnsley. The show runs from Saturday 29th July to Saturday 23rd September.

The show looks at contemporary artists and designers who use toys as a theme, and my work will feature alongside that of Eduardo Paolozzi (whose current show at the Whitechapel gallery is probably my favourite Whitechapel show so far), KAWS, Jimmy Cauty (English artist and musician, best known as one half of the duo The KLF, co-founder of The Orb and as the man who burnt one million pounds.), Ron English, Jason Freeny, Sarah Graham, Joe Simpson, Laura Keeble, the Campana Brothers, Fyodor Golan, Freya Jobbins, Fabric Lenny, Steve Lovatt, and JulieNewton.

The Civic is a gallery and theatre space in South Yorkshire, which hosts touring exhibitions from regular partners such as V&A, Hayward Gallery, Royal Photographic Society and Fashion & Textiles Museum, as well as their own curated exhibitions.

Here's a bit more info about the show, that I shamelessly lifted direct from the gallery's website -

" A well-crafted toy can be a conduit for learning and for nurturing creativity. A toy can also inspire feelings of nostalgia or recall memories of a childhood long gone.

In The Toy Box we will introduce to you artists and designers that have all used or have been inspired by toys in their own professions, either through a sentimental affection for the past or as a medium for telling stories about the present. The exhibition will explore the ways in which Pop Art informed movements such as Photorealism, Pop Surrealism and Street Art, and will showcase artists that have turned the notion of what is collectable art on its head by creating designer ‘art toys’.

Families will be invited to contribute to an art installation that evolves throughout the length of the exhibition. Aided by the help of artist Fabric Lenny, they will be inspired to design and create their own toy robots. Empty plinths and building blocks will be available for young children to build and display their own creations. As will bespoke gallery trails and worksheets, created especially for the exhibition.

National Curriculum Art & Design Key Stages 1 and 2, and elements of Key Stage 3 will explored throughout the exhibition’s engagement programme." 

Open Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm (last admission 4.45pm)

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Oli Postcards 2017

I've just completed a set of four original, mini artworks for this year's Oil Postcards; the secret postcard sale in aid of the Oli Bennett Charitable Trust. Set up on a similar model to the RCA Secret postcard exhibition and sale, the Oli Postcards event exhibits a range of original A5-sized (a much larger postcard size than that of the RCA Secret) artworks, all created and donated by artists. The postcards are then sold off to the public at £50 each, to raise money for charity. The secret element of both sales being that the name of the contributing artist is written on the back of each postcard, so the purchaser only knows the artist's name once they have bought the work.

Previous contributing artists have included Sir Peter Blake, D*Face, Patrick Hughes, Susie Hamilton, Faile, Jonathan Yeo, Anita Klein, Luke Frost, Guy Denning, Peter Jones, Remi Rough, Sandra Chevier, Josie McCoy and MOMO.
As the authors of each artwork in the event are to be kept secret until the point of sale, I've included images here of two of my postcards from the previous Oli Postcards, which took place in 2015. The only clue I'll give about my donations to this year's sale is that there's are lot more colour this time around.

The charity was set up to commemorate the name of Oli Bennett, a young man killed in the World Trade Centre attack of 9/11, and to provide funding and grants for young people with business ideas, many of whom are from underprivileged backgrounds.
The sale takes place on 22 June 2017 (18:00) at Ashburnham House, Westminster School, Little Dean's Yard, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3PF.