• Amy Elizabeth Fine Art

The Secret Postcard Show at the Old Lock Up Gallery in Cromford, Derbyshire.

Last month I had a piece of pastel artwork exhibited at the Secret Postcard Show, which was held at the Old Lock Up Gallery in Cromford, just a few miles away from where I live in Derbyshire. This show was open to all artists to submit a piece of artwork the size of a postcard, which then goes on sale for £15 with funds raised going towards the Gallery, and this year also the charity Arts Emergency. They are an award-winning mentoring charity and network. Their mission is to help marginalised young people overcome barriers to participation in higher education and the cultural and creative industries.


The Old Lock Up Gallery is located in the historic village of Cromford, Derbyshire, which was the birthplace of the industrial revolution and is now a world heritage site. The gallery provides a programme of exhibitions, drawing classes, art workshops, and social events (When there isn't a pandemic on!).


So why is it called a secret postcard show? This is because when submitting a piece of artwork, you are not meant to sign the front, instead, you should write your details on the back of the postcard. This means all the pieces of artwork are anonymous, adding a layer of interest. The show is a great way for people to get their hands on an affordable piece of artwork that will look great in their home.


This year there were 565 postcards submitted from 188 artists around the world. I submitted just the one postcard. As I am a pet portrait artist, who works from photos to create realistic artwork in pastels I wanted to show my skill in creating a realistic piece. With such a small canvas to use I wanted to create a piece that could show just how much detail I could get into a pet portrait, so I chose to create a horse eye study in pastel pencils.