Since early 2018 I have been creating a series of paintings based on tarot cards, with a view to producing a working, finished deck in 2020. I was a professional tarot reader for a while, although now I only read for myself and a select few. My life has been punctuated by connections to card reading and divinatory practices: my grandmother took me to mediums and taught me how to read normal playing cards when I was a child; my mother taught me much about astrology; I got married in Siena, Italy, (which has many connections to tarot) – so I grew up seeing how all of these channels are part of the same quest that people have to search for meaning and connection.
My work has gone through many processes over the years but has always had, at its core, a fascination with transformation – whether that be through stories; history; magic or science. I felt an increasing link between the archetypes in the tarot, and my own figurative painting; and I wanted to explore how energy is expressed and directed in unseen and yet very real ways – I have often sensed a strong energetic connection to something ‘other’ and am always looking for ways in which to express my version of this.
Since 2014 I have collaborated with women in science at the University of St Andrews and am fascinated by how much science at the molecular level is dependent on ‘unknown’ factors; In 2019 I completed an online course in parapsychology through the University of Edinburgh, which further developed my ideas of energetic frequencies being unseen, but very real. These seemingly opposite influences, together with my ongoing interest in fairy-tales, myths and stories, fuse with the Tarot perfectly – I believe it has everything held within it. It seems like now is the right time to link everything together through the production of this work, and subsequently the deck itself.
I do feel I have a ‘channelled’ connection to the Tarot, but I also value it as having a huge historical, artistic and social significance – and whether one ‘believes’ in it or not, I think the proverbial ‘Fool’s Journey’ is a fascinating mirror to all our lives.
The main structural influence for the deck is the Rider Waite, and it will be launched in October 2020, in conjunction with a solo exhibition at the Union Gallery in Edinburgh.