Artwork by Louise Marchal selected for this year’s Secret 7”

Postgraduate Researcher Louise Marchal has had artwork selected for one of the 700 record sleeves in War Child’s Secret 7” exhibition and online auction.

Initiated in 2012, Secret 7" is an anonymous record sale that marries world leading artists with legendary musicians, with all money raised to help War Child to support children affected by conflict. 
For decades, War Child have worked with musicians, labels and the music industry to release records and put on unforgettable shows. These albums, events and the vocal support of musicians have raised the money they have needed to fund their life-changing work. 
Returning after a three year hiatus, Secret 7” takes 7 tracks from 7 musicians and presses each one 100 times onto 7” vinyl. Back in October 2023, a call went out for artists to design sleeves for seven individual music tracks by musicians Sir Paul McCartney, The Chemical Brothers, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Specials, Celeste, Hozier and Aurora. 
Individual sleeve designs chosen include work by creatives from around the world – ranging from household names to talented newcomers. 
The 700 unique sleeves are currently on display at NOW Gallery in London and are all up for auction via bidding site Peggy from 2 to 17 March. The designer of each sleeve and track inside will only be revealed once the sleeve has been purchased. 
One of hundreds of artists to submit work into the competition, Postgraduate Researcher Louise Marchal was delighted to hear in February that her artwork had been selected for one of this year’s 7” single covers.

Photo of Louise Marchal

Louise Marchal, Practice-Led Postgraduate Researcher at the University of Leeds. Photo courtesy of Louise Marchal.

Louise Marchal is a visual artist and writer, currently researching a practice-led PhD in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies. Her research project addresses the retrieval and development of nineteenth century imageries in the late 1960s counterculture and focuses on the fluidity of creative roles in music, film, art, literature and design in the era. Louise said: 
"War Child is one of my favourite charities and one I have followed and supported over the years so I’m delighted that my work has been selected for their Secret 7” exhibition and auction.

“I’ve designed CD covers before but the 7” single format is particularly special so this means a lot to me on many levels. Without giving too much away, I’m thrilled to have my work associated with this particular artist / band and to be able to contribute my work in this way.”

Abigail Harrison Moore is Professor of Art History and Museum Studies at the University of Leeds and one of Louise’s PhD supervisors. Abigail said:

“Louise was already an established author and artist before she decided to link both sides of her work in a PhD that draws together her research on late nineteenth century Arts and Crafts, and her interest in counter-cultural movements in the 20th century. As a practice-led PhD, it involves the production of new art that responds to and leads her research.

“We are delighted that her success as a professional artist continues through this period of exciting research. This is an incredible opportunity for Louise, and a great chance for bidders to both contribute to an important charity and own new art and music by significant artists.”

Record sleeves on display at NOW Gallery

Some of the record sleeves on display at the Secret 7" exhibition, NOW Gallery, London. Photography by Charles Emerson.

Chris Taylor, Professor in Fine Art Practice and one of Louise’s PhD supervisors, said:

“It’s fantastic to see Louise’s creative skills and knowledge being adapted to support such an important and necessary charity, especially in light of current conflicts around the world.

“The history, impact and imagery of the vinyl record sleeve – an intrinsic part of her PhD research into counter-cultures – remains for some a strategic platform for social commentary and a reflection of our times.”

Louise’s record sleeve design and the track inside it will remain a mystery until all is revealed at the end of the auction on 17 March. In the meantime, you can take a look at all 700 covers by visiting the exhibition at NOW Gallery or by viewing the record sleeves online.

Exhibition or record sleeves at NOW Gallery in London

Secret 7” exhibition at NOW Gallery in London. Photography by Charles Emerson.

More information

Find out more about War Child and Secret 7”.

Register to bid for the record sleeves at the auction hosted by Peggy
View the record designs at the Secret 7” online gallery

Follow Louise Marchal on Instagram to find out more about her research and art practice.

Feature image

Record sleeves on display at Secret 7” exhibition, NOW Gallery, London. Photography by Charles Emerson.