ARCANA! New group show in London

ARCANA! New group show in London

PopUp Painting events are led by qualified and practising artist and one PopUp Painter, Annie has produced 4 new artworks for Arcana: An exhibition of Tarot, taking place in London this April.

Alice Procter, creator of Arcana has curated the show with 15 artist, all exhibiting work is inspired by the traditional Tarot deck. On display will be a fantastic variety of artworks, from film, performance, installation art to photography, prints and paintings. Arcana is shaping up to becoming a show you don’t want to miss. Want to know what Arcana is all about? Who is Alice? Well, Annie has taken the time to interview Alice about Arcana. So behold! Below are all your questions answered.

Introduce yourself. 

I’m a perennially over caffeinated art historian trying to get started in curation. I’m an independent tour guide, I work in museums, I make a podcast called The Exhibitionist and I’m in the process of starting a network called Euphonia… I’m one of those people who’s always got too many projects going on, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I like cats, houseplants, candles, gnocchi, gin, and intersectional feminism. I dislike crowds, jet lag, and vacuuming. I wear a lot of black.

What is your background in art?

I got into art history at high school, but it’s really always been the discipline I’ve headed for. My parents took me to galleries all the time as a kid, so I’ve been thinking about art forever. All it took was some wonderfully supportive history and classics teachers to suggest that perhaps after yet another essay about iconography instead of literature/military techniques/linguistic forms my talents would be better elsewhere. I studied art history and anthropology of art at UCL, and my main academic area is post-colonial art practice and colonial material culture. I’m also a useless visual artist, but I have really strong opinions, so obviously I was going to end up writing about things made by other people.

How did you come up with the idea of Arcana?

I love tarot. I’ve been reading tarot cards for a while now, and was talking about it with Alice Marie Edwards (one of the artists in Arcana) when she mentioned she’d always wanted to design a deck. So she cooked me dinner, and I helped her plot out her Shakespeare Tarot, and I was looking for another project, and… It became an exhibition.

All drawings by George Procter

You started a KickStarter Campaign. How has that been?

It’s been a wild ride. The response we had was so instant and so generous! I’m ridiculously grateful to everyone who backed us, because Arcana couldn’t happen without them. I’d never done anything like this before. I think it’s easy when you’re working in the arts to devalue your creativity, and get so caught up in this horrible culture of getting paid in experience or exposure that asking for money is terrifying and awkward – which is rubbish. Creative work is still work. The emotional, physical, practical, imaginative energy that goes into making a piece or an exhibition is huge. Support your local artists, pals. It’s important.

The Crypt Gallery seems quite fitting for an exhibition about Tarot. Was this location by chance, or part of your decision making for Arcana?

I love the Crypt Gallery! I organised a show there last year when I was with UCL Art Society, and thought of it immediately when I started planning Arcana. The gallery has helped shape some of our installations and performances, too. It’s a very eerie space, and quite overwhelming when you go there for the first time, so it suits tarot perfectly. It’ll be great to work there again.

How would you describe Tarot cards to a novice?

This is a tricky one. Get a reading from someone you trust, for starters. Like any art (and tarot cards really are works of art) responses are subjective, so respect the work of the maker and don’t get hung up on meanings and hard-and-fast representations. How do the cards make you feel? What’s your instant reaction to the image? I see tarot cards as therapeutic, because you can use them to externalise your thoughts and work through your emotions. It’s like automatic writing, or meditation. There’s nothing to be scared of (and Death doesn’t mean death!) – I’ll be around the gallery throughout Arcana, so if you want a chat about tarot or a quick reading I’d love to.

What part of curating the show have you enjoyed?

Ask me that again once it’s over. No, that’s not fair – the response from our KickStarter backers, and the people coming to the show. Hopefully we’ll start some conversations and everyone’ll get a little witchy…

Do you have a favourite piece of artwork yet, that is being exhibited in the show?

Don’t make me choose. I can’t wait to see the installation and performance pieces come together, especially Priya Saujani, Florence Devereux, and Samantha Cawson, because they’re all working with the experience of the Crypt Gallery. But the thing with the Crypt is that it needs seriously strong work, otherwise pieces can get lost in there. I’m confident every one of our artists can hold their own.

Describe in 3 words Arcana to entice people to come and visit.

Witchy, weird and wonderful? Or just ‘exhibition of tarot’, I suppose.

Printed cotton tote made exclusively for Arcana

Arcana; An exhibition of Tarot will be taking place from the 6th -10th April, at The Crypt Gallery on Euston Road from 11am- 4pm

To keep up to date about Alice and all her wonderful projects then do find her on the internet at @aaprocter on twitter, @alicehopeless on instagram, or The Exhibitionist Podcast. To find out more about PopUp Painter Annie then do check out our artist of the week post. Her website and of course go and visit Arcana!



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