Spot the artist in annual Secret exhibition

The annual 'Secret' exhibition opens at the Royal College of Art this week. Arifa Akbar previews the show and introduces our fantastic competition

David Bailey rose to fame as a photographer in the 1960s, capturing images of the famous and the infamous. His subjects ranged from the model Jean Shrimpton to the Kray Twins. And this week, 40 years after he helped to sum up the the spirit of an age, his work will go on show at the Royal College of Art as part of the annual art gamble that is the Secret exhibition.

His contribution – not necessarily a photograph – is one of the 20 postcards featured on these two pages, taken from among the 2,300 postcard-sized artworks which will be unveiled to the public on Friday.

The Independent is offering readers the chance to say which of these 20 is by Bailey, and a prize of an Olympus digital SLR camera will go to each of the first five correct entries picked at random (see below for full details of the competition).

Every year at the Royal College of Art, thousands of art lovers have the chance to buy one of these postcards for under £40. It may be something by a student at the college – perhaps one of the big names of tomorrow. Or it may be donated by a professional artist, designer or illustrator, perhaps one of the biggest current stars.

What makes the Secret show so exciting, however, is that the signature on the back is revealed only after the postcard has been bought – making the sale of the cards the country's biggest artistic lucky dip.

This year's sale will include contributions by some of Britain's most eminent artists, such as David Hockney and Peter Blake. There will also be contributions from former Turner Prize winners and nominees, including Damien Hirst – who contributed skull images last year – Tracey Emin, Grayson Perry, Paula Rego and Julian Opie. Other contributors include the designers Zandra Rhodes and Manolo Blahnik; Yoko Ono; the film director Mike Leigh; the Stone Roses guitarist John Squire, and the Wallace and Gromit animator Nick Park.

Bailey began his career as a fashion photographer for Vogue in 1960 and his achievements include album covers for the Rolling Stones. He is believed to have provided the inspiration for Antonioni's 1966 film Blow Up, whose protagonist was a London fashion photographer. He once said: "I've always tried to do pictures that don't date. I always go for simplicity."

Wilhelmina Bunn, curator of Secret, said the most dedicated observers may be able to discern artists' distinctive styles among the works if they look carefully enough. "I don't think there are many artists who are trying to cover up their identity. There are masses of clues in the works, and the identity of some of the artists are stamped all over the cards. There is a relationship between the person who created an artwork and the object, and these postcards do reveal that."

But Ms Bunn suggested buyers choose from the heart, rather than the head, because every purchase is a potential investment. "Each and every one of these postcards is the work of an artist, and if they are recent graduates, they could have very established careers in 10 or 20 years' time and you could have a part of their oeuvre," she explained.

All the postcards will be on view at the RCA in London, and on its website, from Friday, and they will go on sale on Saturday 24 November. There will be a raffle for buyers to win a position in the first 50 places in the queue, a move initiated last year to prevent purchasers camping outside the college.

As well as being a fundraiser for the fine art students at the college, the show has a loyal following of supporters who have visited the show since it began in 1994.

Lucky dip of the year

We have five Olympus digital SLR cameras to give away. The E-410 kit, worth around £450,is the latest in the D-SLR range and includes a 14-42mm lens. Compact and lightweight, it also features Live Preview viewing and a 10-megapixel image sensor that helps create more detailed, better-quality shots. For further information visit www.olympus.co.uk or call 0800 072 0070.

For your chance to win one, see the images in the paper and just tell us which postcard you think is by David Bailey. Send your answer, name and contact details to competitions@independent.co.uk stating "Olympus Competition" in the subject box. Alternatively send your answersto: Olympus Competition, PO Box 55705, London E14 3AQ. (Please state your name, address and email address if applicable on the reverse of the envelope). Entries must received by Monday 19 November. Winners will be picked at random from the correct entries and notified by telephone by Friday 23 November.

Terms and conditions

1. Only one entry per email address. 2. No purchase necessary. 3. Standard Independent News & Media terms and conditions apply. See www.independent.co.uk/legal for standard terms and conditions. 4. The editor's decision is final.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence