Three of spades (2011)

Three of Spades

three of spades (2011) Rachel K Gillies

This piece of work was in an exhibition in Whanganui, New Zealand. It was organised by a group of people who regularly exhibit as a group and usually with a theme. This exhibition, their third I believe, was based on a pack of cards. All exhibitors were to pick a card, and create a piece of artwork based on that card. The work could be in any media, and would be exhibited as such, but all works would then be photographed or scanned if necessary and reproduced as a pack of cards.

So they seemed to have managed to get the full deck together – 54 in total including two jokers!

Three of Spades
As you can see, I drew the Three of Spades. It was interesting and challenging working with such a narrow theme, which is something I don’t think I’ve done since art school projects! I only knew that I wanted to do something photographic although at one point in the process of making the work, I did start drawing.

To make the final work I gathered 26 packs of cards (well 27 but one didn’t make the final work) and scanned every three of spades from each pack (see Idris Khan‘s “every…” series for inspiration here). I them composited them on top of one another, working with the opacity of individual layers to allow each card to be seen in the final work. Thanks to my wonderful friends who lent me their cards I had the widest array of interesting cards to work with, from dinosaur to african elephant, Japan to Edinburgh, and from miniature to jumbo it turned into a really interesting process. I originally intended to gather 52 cards for the work, but in the end it works with the 26.

[I also scanned the backs and did a couple of composit works of the patterns that came out there, which you can see on my photo blog. They don’t work as finished pieces but they were interesting to do.]

So here are a couple of images from the exhibition, taken by my wonderful friend Don Hunter, with Ana Terry. They were both in the exhibition too.

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