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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Art:Pack in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation

A deck of cards to raise awareness of the Irish Hospice Foundation.

Art:pack
in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation
https://www.artpack.ie/

A deck of cards is being used this year to raise awareness of the Irish Hospice Foundation. The Art:Pack features 52 custom-made cards by a variety of visual artists such as Robert Ballagh, Basil Blackshaw, Felim Egan, Guggi, Anne Madden, Patrick Scott and Sean Scully. Gavin Friday and Bono will feature as the jokers.

"We chose a pack of cards this year because we felt it was friendly inclusive and accessible for those involved in its production as well as its viability as an end product," said Ciaran O'Goara, committee member of Art:Pack.

"The artists we used range in age from 20-year-olds to 70 year olds and an open brief was given to suit their individual sensibilities," said O'Goara. "The approach yielded and eclectic mix of interpretation. Art:Pack took about 18 months to come to fruition and the artists had two months to produce their pieces."

5 of Diamonds Queen of Spades by Catherine Kelly King of Spades
back back 10 of Hearts
Jack of Clubs 2 of Hearts 4 of Clubs

25/11/01: A great many of the artists were in the 4 Seasons Hotel in Dublin today to sign their cards. A huge crowd queued to have their packs autographed. They must be Christmas presents. In any event the cards have gone for a further printing and have hit the 5 best selling Christmas presents list in one of the papers.

We started signing at 12 noon and finished signing at 6.30. One of the artists was still going strong when I left as he signs with a quill! We were asked would we offer the original artwork to the hospice for sale.

https://www.artpack.ie/

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996.

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