The making of ‘The Secret to a Good Life’
Bob and Roberta Smith RA, Jessica Voorsanger and Etta Voorsanger-Brill discuss their collaborative project, The Secret to a Good Life. (4 September 2018 – 3 February 2019). This special project by Bob and Roberta Smith RA explores the story of women artists and the Royal Academy – through the lens of his own family history. Bob and Roberta Smith’s mother, the artist Deirdre Borlase, regularly exhibited in the RA’s Summer Exhibition. She thought she was more likely to be selected if she submitted works without her first name, to avoid giving away her gender.
Three new sculptures include This is Deirdre Borlase ARCA, 2018, by Bob and Roberta Smith RA and sculptures of the Academy’s female founders, Mary Moser RA and Angelica Kauffman RA, created by Smith in collaboration with his wife, Jessica Voorsanger, and their daughter, Etta Voorsanger-Brill.
“The secret of a good life is to get a good pencil: a 2B or a 3B, not an HB. HBs are for architects.”