Hastings Tarot Deck on show at Susan Diamond
Ella Guru has led a colourful life, and her paintings reflect her life experiences in psychedelic hues and magical realist compositions. From Thursday 4 December you have a chance to absorb her world view when her paintings of Tarot cards are on show at Susan Diamond’s boutique in Kings Road. HOT’s Erica Smith visited the artist to read her cards…
Like Susan Diamond, Guru is an American who has chosen to settle in England. She’s lived in the UK for 24 years primarily in East London. Last August she moved to Bohemia, and her Tarot Deck documents the process of moving.
Ella Guru is a ‘Stuckist’ – an art movement founded by Charles Thomson and Billy Childish which stubbornly celebrates figurative art over conceptual art. She’s also a fantastic portrait painter who incorporates her friends in to her paintings. The series of 22 major arcana cards have given her a magnificent opportunity to play with symbolism – re-interpreting the iconic tarot characters into a personal mythology.
The project began when Guru painted one card for a collaborative Stuckist Tarot Deck. She chose to paint her friend and magician Paul Nathan as ‘The Magician’ of the deck.
She enjoyed working with Tarot imagery so much that she decided to continue and create her own deck and her second card was ‘The Fool’. She began painting it two and a half years ago – at the start of what proved to be a slow move from London to Hastings.
Some of the cards clearly reflect her new life – ‘The Sun’ is a glorious celebration of beach life, whilst ‘The Tower’ shows a more sinister side of Hastings. Guru is a keen surfer and had been on the beach at Rock-a-Nore last January when the cliff face collapsed. Her Tower card documents the scene, with the former Tower pub teetering on the cliff top.
Painting the cards was a reflective process for Guru, and helped her cope with the tedious and tortuous process of moving to the coast. She has also been surprised to find that many of the symbolic images that she used have since been reflected in real world events.
Her show opens this Thursday, 4 December at 5pm and runs until 5 January.
As well as exhibiting the paintings, Guru has also had a beautiful deck of cards printed in an edition of 100. These will be on sale for £45 per pack.
There will be a performance by Muscle Bra at the opening, and throughout the show, there will be readings by experienced Tarot interpreters.
Susan Diamond, 22 Kings Road, St Leonards-on-Sea TN37
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