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Images: Installation view of Alyson Davies: Blue Earth Tarot, exhibition at the Art Gallery at Evergreen, Evergreen Cultural Centre, 2023. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.

Alyson Davies: Blue Earth Tarot
April 2023 – March 2024

Public Art Installation at Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain Station.

What journey are you on? Find inspiration in this immersive tarot card deck by artist Alyson Davies.  

Created as playing cards and thought to originate in 14th-century Italy, tarot cards became associated with mystical powers by the 18th century. Today, people seek guidance from tarot readings, finding empowerment and self-reflection in this meditative ritual. Alyson Davies’s Blue Earth Tarot (2022) series unites the seasons and astrology with images of the body and the natural world. The whimsy, tenderness and magic in this suite of 78 blue-and-white cards offers a delightful contrast to the routine experience of the surrounding street and transit station.  

To create this deck, Davies used a slow photographic printing process called cyanotype. The imagery comes from the artist’s hand-drawn sketches, her photographs of plants and animals in the wintertime and a collection of landscape photos taken by Davies’s grandmother. Layering images into hand-made collages, she forms vignettes rich with symbolism. Like regular playing cards, the deck’s Minor Arcana has four suits, which here represent life’s daily ups and downs. The artist has adapted the traditional tarot symbols into organic forms: water droplets, instead of cups; clouds, rather than swords; sticks, in place of wands; and hands, instead of pentacles. The Major Arcana—representing principles, concepts and ideals that inform big life events—merges nature-inspired imagery with fluid human-like figures.  

Each card suggests a story untold or a path yet travelled. What journey are you on? 

Presented in partnership with TransLink at the Lafarge Lake – Douglas SkyTrain Station, and part of the 2023 Capture Photography Festival Selected Exhibition Program.

About Alyson Davies

Alyson Davies is a visual artist based in Edmonton, AB (amiskwaciwâskahikan, Treaty 6 Territory). Davies was born to a rural family of talented trades and craftspeople. In the studio, Davies studies moments of connection with nature intertwined with personal histories and autobiographic storytelling. Small experiences are memorialized into artworks that offer moments of contemplation and stillness. Bold colours, flattened spaces, patterning, and exaggerated proportions create worlds just removed from reality. She holds an MFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver and BFA from the University of Alberta, Edmonton.  

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