ORGAN THING: Art On A Postcard events have grown to become a much anticipated fixture on the London art calendar. Last night’s viewing at Covent Garden’s Bomb Factory really was another curatorial triumph…

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The Art On A Postcard Winter Auction private view at The Bomb Factory, Covent Garden, London, November 8th 2022 – The first thing that strikes as you walk into the very busy Covent Garden gallery is just that how much more alive the paintings and pieces are in here than they are when you view it all on line or indeed in the catalogue, just how bright it all is. An obvious statement you might think but it really does feel exciting in here. Where to look first? There’s quite a (friendly) battle for attention being waged by the five hundred plus paintings up in lines on the shelves on the Bomb Factory walls for this one night only.   

The now annual Summer and Winter auctions of postcard sized paintings and pieces from Art On A Postcard have grown to become a much anticipated fixture in the art calendar now, that and the shows and events in between AOAP’s main auctions. The very considered curatorial adventures that Gemma Peppé and her team have been taking us on over recent years, the mini auctions and smaller events from invited curators, their part played as participants at the ever evolving thing that is the Art Car Boot Fair, the pro-active podcasts and features that make the AOAP website always worth a look, Art on A Postcard really have built a reputation. A reputation built in terms of finding those exciting emerging artists and placing them next to the established names, next to the Royal Academicians and the artists we maybe already know about. There is always someone or something new to discover at an Art On A Postcard event, we encountered more than a couple of exciting new names last night, artists to watch, to follow up on.    

“Art on a Postcard (AOAP) returns with its highly anticipated Winter Auction featuring a curated collection of emerging and established artists, including national treasure Grayson Perry CB RA, Brooklyn-based surreal artist Clayton Schiff who is listed as being ‘ultra-contemporary’, emerging talent Caroline Wong, who is currently soaring in popularity, and British artist Gavin Turk who has donated a piece which incorporates his current project, Portrait of an Egg”.

Once again the main reason we’re all here is the fundraising, there’s over two hundred hand-picked invited artists taking part with over five hundred pieces of art featuring in this Winter’s Auction. Bidding starts at £50, the purpose, as it always is with AOAP’S events and auctions, is to raise money for The Hepatitis C Trust and their campaign to eliminate hepatitis C in the UK by the year 2030.

Now to start picking favourites, especially after last night’s busy viewing, is almost impossible (we will try in a couple of days, I do have and still evolving list of favourites). impossible to pick a favourite, the paintings really were jumping off the shelves last night, two hours really weren’t enough to study them all in any kind detail, to respond to the demands of the pieces, the “me me me” noise they were making as they jousted for our attention – “Hey, look at that one”, “Yes, but these four over here”, there’s a real buzz in the room as people whip out phones and make on the spot bids, as people mark their catalogues (as well as grab a signature or two on the pages as they spot a participating artist or two)      

“The Auction also includes Turkish artist Özlem Sorlu Thompson who was one of the artists to create the giant fibreglass eggs for the 2022 Platinum Jubilee. Zemba Luzamba whose experience of migration to South Africa informs his contemporary realist paintings, infusing them with both satire and sympathy; and Han Han a portrait painter based in London who recently exhibited at the Society of Women Artists Exhibition at Mall Galleries, London.

AOAP always champions emerging young artists; this Auction includes works by Miyeon Yi current RCA student, whose work depicts everyday objects and the memory attached to them; Zurich-based Orlando Marosini whose colourful, energetic works are inspired by artists such as Basquiat and de Kooning; Rose Electra Harris, who won the Bainbridge Open at The Art Academy Prizes (2018) recently had a solo exhibition at Greatorex Studios, London; and Glasgow-based Isaac Aldridge who strives to explore the post digital in his bold and unexpected paintings.

AOAP is proud to feature a number of Royal Academicians in this Auction, including Chris Orr MBE RA, Stephen Chambers RA, Kenneth Draper RA, Norman Ackroyd RA, Ian Ritchie OBE RA and Mick Rooney RA. We are also delighted to welcome back AOAP alums Helen Beard, Ryan Mosley, Lois Wallace, Kelly-Anne Davitt, and Max Renneisen…”

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We also spied some delightful Susie Hamilton dogs, a Heath Kane queen or two, some pink and blue skylines from some bloke called Sean Worrall,there’s someof those Russell Herron faces. There are couple of beautiful Greg Becker paintings, loved the Sarah Arsenault pieces and those Ella Friere luggage labels are delicious, but it really is hard to pick favourites or highlights and there are quieter pieces that we’re only just seeing as we look back at our (not very good) photos or explore the catalogue a little more (there is a lot to take in). I don’t want to pick out highlights right now, I make no secret on these pages of my admiration of the work of Norman Ackroyd, did like those Banana leaves of Aiden Myers, Jason Gibilaro‘s four Utopia paintings and those gorgeous Tushar Sabale twilight pieces and Bidisha Mamata and those two Shem pieces and no no no, can’t be picking out favourites today, not yet, I need to go back and look again armed with the experience of last night and the cold light of day that is catalogue. No, i;m not sitting on the fence here, well yes I am, but really last night’s viewing (and it is a shame that the pieces are only on view for a couple of hours for just one evening), the  viewing was about the whole thing, the one big whole, the event as one thing. The one big thing really was exciting last night (and yes, exciting to be one of the invited participating artists), the real strength of the event and this viewing is the one big whole and really was there anything on the wall last night that didn’t work? I might be a participating artist so yes, it is a little uncomfortable to say so, but the stardard last night really was rather high. So no, really not fair to pick out individual pieces, not right now (I will get off the fence in a day or so, watch these pages). The Art On A Postcard team really are good at finding exciting art and artists, their events are always worth keeping a keen eye on, spied a number of pieces by artists I had never heard of before last night, certainly a few to follow, to watch out for.          

“Art on a Postcard was founded in 2014 by Gemma Peppé as a unique way to raise proceeds for The Hepatitis C Trust’s vital work. AOAP prides itself on its curatorial eye, setting it apart from similar ventures – the auctions feature art icons alongside rising stars, ensuring each includes a diverse spectrum of international artists, with a particular emphasis on those potentially excluded from the art world. It’s a simple formula – a postcard-sized piece of paper is sent to the artist to decorate how they wish – that has produced spectacular responses from the highbrow to the humorous”.

Last night was great, it felt exciting, it looked exciting, a real event over in Covent Garden, a great night out, well worth fighting the wind and rain – oh and the juggler with the seven knives over in the Garden itself wasn’t bad either, good to see busking is still a thing over there, busking partly go some of us through art school and helped us survive afterwards. So yes, as an art show the Art On A Postcard viewing last night was strong, a real event, the whole of thing was a triumph, an exciting triumph, as curators Gemma Peppé and her team are going from strength to strength, and all that well before we get to the main reason for it all. Great night, strong event, excellent art show, and yes, well worth checking out the on-line auction if you have a moment, you might even pick up a piece or two from a new artist before the art world dictates their prices shoot up. Great night, great show, great event, great art, great cause, go have a look… (sw

The auction goes on, on-line, until November 15th – View the auction and the 585 lots here

Links – Art On A Postcard / The AOAP linktree

Do please click on an image to enlarge it and see the whole picture or to run the slide show and get a flavour or two, admittedly my overworked camera is dying, hope you ger a hint of the evening and the art

ABOUT ART ON A POSTCARD

Art on a Postcard is a unique platform that offers the opportunity to purchase beautiful limited- edition artworks by celebrated artists at affordable prices. Art on a Postcard is perhaps best known for its coveted postcard auctions. These eagerly anticipated events feature special edition artworks by renowned names that are auctioned anonymously for charity each year. Bidding starts at £50 and they offer a truly rare chance to own mini masterpieces by highly collectible artists, whilst supporting a worthwhile cause, The Hepatitis C Trust.

ABOUT THE HEPATITIS C TRUST

The Hepatitis C Trust is the national charity for people with hepatitis C. It is a patient-led and patient-run organisation; most of its board, staff and volunteers have had hepatitis C themselves. It is committed to eliminating hepatitis C in the UK by 2030.

Its strategy is based around pillars of better prevention, increased diagnosis and treatment for all. It has established strong partnership models of working with substance misuse and homeless service providers across the UK. In substance misuse services, it delivers staff training, peer-led education about the importance of testing and availability of new treatments, and personal one- to-one support from initial diagnosis through to treatment. It runs a range of support services, including a confidential national helpline run by staff and trained volunteers who have all had personal experience of living with hepatitis C.

One thought on “ORGAN THING: Art On A Postcard events have grown to become a much anticipated fixture on the London art calendar. Last night’s viewing at Covent Garden’s Bomb Factory really was another curatorial triumph…

  1. Pingback: ORGAN: Five Recommended Art Things – David Price at Frestonian, Martyn Cross at Hales, Leo Sweron and Jeru Kinnaird at Camden Open Air, David Holah at Five years, Face to Face at Gillian Jason Gallery, All Night at Sherbet Green and… | THE ORGAN

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