Art Gene Extreme Views: Barrow Tarot

November 2019-March 2020
Participatory Art and Installation
Art Gene, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

At the end of the year in 2019, I was awarded one of two artist residencies to work alongside the Art Gene team on their Extreme Views II programme, due to take place across Spring 2020. Due to the impacts of the covid19 pandemic, the residency took an unusual route, culminating in an exhibition in Spring 2022.

Barrow Tarot is a conversational artwork, designed as a playful tool for exploring possible futures taking inspiration from across Barrovian identity and everyday finds. Based on the traditional tarot form, Barrow Tarot features a deck of 78 cards, with key ‘houses’ of Community, Environment, Culture and Industry, alongside a major deck of character cards, ranging from 7, The Wind Turbine to The Jack of Culture, the Meat and Potato Pie, and the 6 of Community, Peggy Braithwaite. The deck’s contents were inspired by conversations and discussions held with local people as part of my artist residency in early 2020, and produced a series of hand drawn cards.

Barrow Tarot is available as a digital archive and playable resource here, and also available to purchase as a limited edition of 100, for £15 + postage. The Barrow Tarot comes with instructions for use, and each deck carefully hand packaged. Contact me directly, or if based in Barrow the team at Art Gene for purchase.

Huge thanks to the wonderful team at Art Gene, and all those who spent some time with me over the course of the residency.

Alongside the Barrow Tarot, an artists book Talk of the Town was produced following several days conversation in Barrow Market (see digital version available for download here), and an edible artwork – Supernormal Stimuli, a collection of chocolate seagull eggs inspired by the research work of Niko Tinbergen that took place on nearby Walney Island.

Image credits: Tarot Images from Kirstin McEwan Photography, exhibition views the artists own.

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