Tarot Cards, The Tower, Death, Judgement, The Wheel of Fortune, The Moon, The World (2023)
Digital prints of watercolour paintings recycled 300gsm cards
Designed by Serena Caulfield.
105 x 148.5 mm

My first time encountering the Yggsdrasil divination deck, I was in awe of the cards. Designed by Icelandic artist Haukur Halldorsson’s and his daughter Gunnhildur Hauksdottir, I was enthralled by a card deck devoted to the mythologies of ancient Scandinavian life, the land and our relationship to it. I immediately knew that the next work I was to make was going to reference these cards in some way. One day, I asked a friend to read the cards for me. I presented the cards with my question, as one would normally do in a tarot reading.

How would the people of Ireland repair our relationship to the land? What did we need to change and what was in our future?

The story begins with the seven card reading, answering the questions, which I took notes on, and I then sent to Serena with some stills from footage I had collected when I began considering the direction of my film piece. These included ‘community, collaboration, intuition, new beginnings, not all is what it seems, answers in hidden places, new possibilities, peace, fairness, abundance..’. Serena used these keywords, and began her own research into the original Tarot deck. We spoke about Tarot coming from the word tarocchi (meaning foolishness in Latin) and how appropriate it seemed with the concept of the work, spoke about the rock cycles, the process of breakdown and changes of state. Serena used her daily practices of inventing and re-imagining imagery related to destruction and renewal from a range of art historical/classical source. Serena then designed and handpainted the beautiful cards, which I then created into objects to use as devices in the film. The works are displayed sitting against the wall in the exhibition with the seventh card still unturned, noting possibilites. Below are the meanings of the cards Serena chose to work with and how they play out throughout the film. 

The Tower: The Tower card represents sudden and dramatic change, destruction, and upheaval. It signifies the breaking down of old structures and beliefs to make way for new beginnings and growth.

Death: Despite its ominous name, the Death card does not represent literal death. Instead, it symbolises transformation, endings, and the natural cycles of life. It signifies the need to let go of the old to make room for the new.

Judgement: The Judgement card represents a time of reckoning, self-reflection, and rebirth. It signifies the end of one phase and the beginning of another, as well as the need to make important decisions and embrace personal transformation.

The Wheel of Fortune: The Wheel of Fortune represents the cyclical nature of life and the constant changes and ups and downs that we experience. It signifies both endings and new beginnings, as well as the concept of fate and the ever-turning wheel of destiny.

The Moon: The Moon card represents the subconscious mind, intuition, and the hidden aspects of ourselves. It symbolizes the cycles of emotions, illusions, and the need to navigate through uncertainty and darkness to find renewal and clarity.

The World: The World card represents completion, fulfilment, and the successful culmination of a cycle. It signifies the integration of various aspects of life and the achievement of personal wholeness and harmony