It's that time of year again. An innocuous little envelope drops through my letterbox containing the blank post cards for the RCA Secrets exhibition. Just in case you're unfamiliar with this annual phenomenon, let me fill you in. RCA Secrets is an exhibition and sale of original, postcard-sized artworks by internationally acclaimed artists and up-and-coming graduates from the Royal College of Art. What’s the secret you ask? Well, the artist responsible for each postcard does not sign the work, at least not on the front of the card. Until the sales are over, buyers don’t know who made the art they now own. You can see some examples of last year's cards on the RCA's online archive.
So, post cards in hand, I promise myself that I will get them done well before the deadline, like I do every year. That deadline is today, February 13th, and, like every year, it was just a few short days ago that I rediscovered said postcards under a pile of books on my desk. Thus the inevitable happens: I realize I have left it to the last minute, and need to come up with something sooner than is humanly possible. As people who know me and my practice will attest, I don’t do much two-dimensional work, which makes Secrets an even bigger challenge for me. But there in the corner, where I left them last year, sit my two-dimensional-art supplies, encouraging me to think about what I want to do.
Which brings us more-or-less up to date. Here I am, sketching out some ideas and wondering why I do this every year. I mean, I don’t really draw that much, and I’m always scrambling to produce something at the last minute. But then something funny happens. I realise I am actually enjoying myself - really enjoying myself - and the process of drawing, painting, and sketching has become fun. I finish the cards and over-night them back where they're needed. (We're way past the time when the freepost return envelope would arrive before the deadline.)
I have promised myself I will start keeping a sketchbook again, and draw more regularly. Yes, the chances of that actually happening are pretty slim, but hey! at least once a year I am reminded that the world of two-dimensions is indeed a lovely place to visit.
And what, you ask, did I do for this year's Secrets exhibition? You can start guessing when the show opens on March 8th, 2015, but if you want to be sure you'll have to wait until it closes. Because, you know, it’s a secret.