Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin and Yinka Shonibare Create ‘Miniature Artworks’ for Royal Mail Stamps

Along with Fiona Rae, Barbara Rae and Norman Ackroyd, the artists’ designs celebrate the Royal Academy’s 250th anniversary

Grayson Perry. Courtesy: Royal Mail

Grayson Perry. Courtesy: Royal Mail

Grayson Perry. Courtesy: Royal Mail

To mark the Royal Academy of Arts’s 250th anniversary, Royal Mail have issued a new set of stamps designed by leading artists (and Royal Academicians themselves). The artists who have contributed to the project are Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin, Yinka Shonibare, Fiona Rae, Norman Ackroyd and Barbara Rae.

Royal Mail offered the artists an open brief for the designs, with the only restrictions being that they are not offensive or politicized. Perry’s design features his alter-ego Claire, rendered Eduardo Paolozzi-style, surrounded by artworks lining the RA’s walls. Emin’s contribution, meanwhile, is a quiet, black gouache rendering of her dying mother, titled Saying Goodbye.

Shonibare visited the RA’s archives for inspiration. His stamp draws on a photograph of gallery visitors in the 1950s, shielded by umbrellas in the rain, waiting to see a J.M.W. Turner retrospective. The artist stripped the image down to its outlines, filling the umbrellas with splashes of colour.

Yinka Shonibare’s design. Courtesy: Royal Mail

Yinka Shonibare’s design. Courtesy: Royal Mail

Yinka Shonibare’s design. Courtesy: Royal Mail

Ackroyd’s design features a rocky scene in the Outer Hebrides. Barbara Rae’s stamp takes in the view of Edinburgh Castle. And Fiona Rae offers a glowing, abstract composition.

The commemorative stamps will be issued on 5 June. The Royal Academy recently unveiled its new GB£56 million makeover, as part of its anniversary celebrations. The transformation, designed by Sir David Chipperfield (also a Royal Academician) opened alongside an exhibition by Tacita Dean, ‘Landscape’, which runs until 12 August.

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