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Lost Envoy Book launch | Camden Arts Centre | May 2016

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Launching 'Lost Envoy', a new book edited by Jonathan Allen, which brings into public view the recently discovered tarot cards hand-painted by English artist and mystic Austin Osman Spare. The book launch included talks by Jonathan Allen and Phil Baker, and a performance 'Which Paterson?' by artist Marcia Farquhar.

The event was accompanied by a showcase of the cards in the Artists' Studio at Camden Arts Centre. Shown publicly for the first time in their history, Spare's forgotten deck of 79 cards were constructed by the artist c.1906. Recovered by Jonathan Allen from the archives of The Magic Circle Museum in London, the cards predate the well-known Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck. Spare's experimental deck is highly unusual for combining playing card cartomancy and tarot cartomancy, and for the presence of images and texts that bridge the unfixed region between cards when two or more are placed alongside one another.

Supported by Arts Council England, the Arts & Humanities Reseach Council, the Contemporary Art Research Centre at Kingston University and The Magic Circle.

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