The Subliminal Tarot is the very latest result of a fascination with tarot that that began with The Mystic Rubáiyát and deepened with The Pen Tarot, The Wild Green Chagallian Tarot and The Liminal Tarot, all of which may be seen by clicking on the links in the sidebar.
It was started in an attempt to access the creative subconscious by seeking images in a series of ink splashes and random marks on twenty-four sheets of card, and developing these into paintings with the tarot archetypes and meanings in mind. Some cards took weeks to surrender their secrets, others seemed meant to be from the very beginning, but all took me on a journey through creation to accomplish paintings that would never have been envisaged if I'd been faced with a blank sheet of paper.
I do hope The Subliminal Tarot proves an inspiration and will suggest deep insights that could not have been accessed in any other way. Because of the way the cards were created some of the titles have been changed. The Magician has been replaced by The Shaman, The Priestess by The Sibyl, The Hierophant by The Daemon and Judgement by The Angel. The Lovers are simply Love, Fortune is Fortuna and The Star has become The Stars.
The images for The Subliminal Tarot were developed on card, using watercolours, coloured acrylic inks and watercolour crayons over random abstract markings made with diluted black caligraphy ink. In addition to the twenty-two cards of the major arcana, the title card and the signed card, there is one extra - The Puppetmaster, who appeared uninvited and insisted on being included.
After studying at what later became the University of Brighton, Pen lived and worked in Southern Africa, where she specialized in studies of tribal Africans and the indigenous wildlife, as well as teaching pottery.
Returning overland to Sussex via India, Afghanistan and Europe, a journey lasting six months, she resumed her study of art, etching, lithography and silk screen printing whilst exhibiting regularly both locally and in London and Birmingham.
She was a member of the National Acrylic Painters Association and the Association of Sussex Artists for many years, and has exhibited with the Society of Women Artists and in various open exhibitions.
Her work is in private collections in America, Southern Africa and Great Britain, and her paintings have been published as limited edition fine art prints.
Pen works in a variety of media including oil, acrylic, watercolour and pastel, as well as etching and silk screen.
Most of her work is figurative, a continuing concern being to convey the brilliance, colour, luminosity and magic of light. She is drawn to locations and occasions rich in life in all its kaleidoscopic diversity and is fascinated by those places where myth and legend, magic and arcane knowledge cross and mingle. This is her fifth set of meditation and tarot cards in what promises to be a lifelong journey, and an experiment that may take her on a new creative path.
In her other incarnation as Nell Grey she has published novels, short stories, poetry and the odd review.
The display size images (these are large cards, 110mm x 155mm), were professionally printed in the UK on 350gsm silk card, matt laminated, with a non-reversible marbled pattern on the backs, and have black borders with rounded corners. There are 25 cards in each set - the 22 archetypes of the major arcana plus the extra card mentioned above, the title card and a signed and numbered card with a few words about their creation. Carbon emissions during printing were offset by supporting Forest Protection, Kasigau Wildlife Corridor Kenya and additional carbon offset projects.
Each set comes wrapped in a sheet of blue paper hand-marbled by Pen and in a rigid, black, lidded box with an image of the title card on the top.
This unique signed and numbered edition is limited to 150 sets. Each set costs Ł69 including postage/shipping and insurance worldwide, and is available only from the Fig Tree Press website.