In the run-up to International Women’s Day on 8 March 2020, the Art on a Postcard initiative is hosting its first ever all-female auction. Art on a Postcard (AOAP) is an annual fundraising initiative set up by Gemma Peppé, where artists donate postcard-sized original pieces to be sold at auction – with 100% of the proceeds going to the Hepatitis C Trust.
Normally the auction is anonymous, meaning buyers can snap up a bargain miniature masterpiece, with reserve prices starting at just £50. Artists who have contributed to the project in the past include Grayson Perry, Marc Quinn, Sam Taylor-Johnson and Damien Hirst.
This year, however, is a little different. ‘We are known for our secret auctions,’ explains Peppé, ‘however we want to shout about all the fantastic women taking part in this iteration of Art on a Postcard and show off their wonderful work, so this time you will know who you are bidding on.’
The auction includes 400 artworks, with confirmed participants including American artist and activist Harmony Hammond, feminist art collective Guerrilla Girls, Caroline Coon, Genieve Figgis and Celia Hempton. The auctions take place from 27 February and will go on display at AllBright Mayfair, a unique private members’ club for women in business.
Ones to watch: Gemma Peppé selects her auction highlights
Swimming in the Lake by Anita Klein
Swimming in the Lake looks like a wonderful night-time skinny dip. All Anita’s work is about her life so I imagine that’s a habit of hers.
Rugged Defence by Caroline Coon
Caroline Coon is a fascinating artist who has championed women’s rights and plights throughout her career. This card was made during the women’s rugby world cup. I like the Amazonian looking women and I love the crowd.
Babes by Ceal Warnants
Ceal Warnants first submitted a version of this image to a 2015 auction of ours. It was a big hit and raised a huge amount of money. The image is so appealing; it’s nostalgic and contemporary at the same time. Ceal’s subversive take on Enid Blyton-type characters always really tickles me.
Tardiness by Nici Bungey
Nici Bungey’s abstracts are very satisfying – this one especially so. I like the way the colours balance out.
Veil in Royal Blue by Medina Dugger
Medina Dugger’s joyous celebration of the veil, from her project Enshroud is an AOAP office favourite. I particularly like the midnight-blue veil in this one. The shape the material is making echoes the moon behind.
Magdalene Tile #4 by Claire Partington
Magdalene Tile #4 is wonderful with its blue flower hairgrip in luscious golden hair. Claire is known for her reimagined old masters, which have contemporary twists. I wondered how she would handle a ceramic postcard and this is perfect.
For WD III by Vanessa Jackson RA
I’m a big Vanessa Jackson fan. I love that she reproduces a postcard-sized version of her huge abstracts and that they work in exactly the same way. Even at 10×6 inches the images play with your perception of flatness. The colours jump out of the page.
Hippocampus Dream by Kikka Nyrén
This cat dreaming about seahorses is such a lot of fun. Kikka Nyrén’s cards are the only example of naive art we have in the auction and they are all painted with such beautiful detail.
Two Salt Spoons by Rachel Ross
I love these exquisitely painted spoons. They look like antiques but Rachel Ross has painted what looks like a contemporary reflection of the artist in the spoon.
Two by Ilona Szalay
Ilona Szalay has sent in four of these little heads; this is my favourite. They all are predominantly in various reds and they all have such a lot of character and expression.
Cowboy Descending into Hell by Fipsi Seilern
Fipsi’s paintings often have a classical context and a sense of humour. She has a completely unique style. You could spend hours decoding this card. I think Fipsi is one of the most original painters I know of right now.
The Mother! Copy of Portrait of an Unknown (Pregnant!) Lady, Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, 1595 by Janet Archer
Janet Archer’s copy of a 14th-century pregnant Lady by Marcus Gheeraerts is stunning. The beaded dress and ruffle together with her decorated hair and contented smile make for such happy image. It also makes me grateful that I was pregnant in the 1990s and not the 1590s.’
The auction takes place from 27 Feb–11 March through Paddle8, with a private view at the AllBright on Tuesday 2 March. Discover more at artonapostcard.com