Taro As Colour (Book)

—Introduction by Amy Hale

Original price was: £55.00.Current price is: £35.00.

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In 1977, a series of 78 strange enamel works were exhibited in a small gallery in Cornwall. The vibrant images were modestly grouped together in five large frames. For the curious viewer the artist provided a page of explanation, affirming that these ‘psycho-morphological’ studies were, in fact, designs for a Taro. Within a few weeks, the exhibition was gone.

Such was the first and last appearance of Ithell Colquhoun’s revolutionary explorations of the Taro As Colour. The product of a lifetime of esoteric study and art practice, Colquhoun’s bold project seeks to dispense with the figurative narratives of the traditional tarot and re-imagines the forces behind each card as pure colour. Drawing from the pioneering work of Moina Mathers and Florence Farr in the 1890s, Colquhoun integrates the esoteric teachings of the Golden Dawn with Surrealist automatic techniques to produce a design for a taro deck that remains unique in Western esotericism. Setting aside the role of the tarot in fortune-telling, through the power of pure colour Colquhoun invites us to reach for transcendence.

Published here as a book for the first time, Taro As Colour draws upon newly commissioned photography to present Colquhoun’s magical designs in vivid colour. Printed using the latest techniques of six-colour offset lithography, the original cards are augmented with gold and silver inks and gloss coated to better emulate the original enamels. Colquhoun’s original essay is also accompanied by a scholarly introduction by Amy Hale, who explores the background, approach and theory behind this extraordinary body of work.

The book is issued with four variations of elemental binding: Air (Yellow), Water (Blue), Fire (Red) and Earth (Indigo).[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”22357,33352,33353,33354″ img_size=”full” css_animation=”left-to-right” animation_delay=”.4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″ css=”.vc_custom_1580229719565{margin-left: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”right-to-left” css=”.vc_custom_1580229751901{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”]


Cloth spine, elemental boards
Printed in six colours
208 pages
10.6 x 8.25 inches (27cm x 21cm)
English text[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text el_class=”” css_animation=”right-to-left” animation_delay=”.2″ css=”.vc_custom_1680169395524{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”]


300 copies only of each element cover[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css_animation=”right-to-left” animation_delay=”.4″ css=”.vc_custom_1575402874544{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”]


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After I had completed the pack, I saw some slides showing nebulae in outer space and the birth of stars. These recalled my designs and confirmed my conviction of their cosmographic function.

Ithell Colquhoun, ‘Taro As Colour’, 1978[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator border_width=”2″ css_animation=”top-to-bottom”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column css=”.vc_custom_1575435722700{margin-left: 20px !important;}”][vc_column_text css_animation=”top-to-bottom” css=”.vc_custom_1575403437465{margin-bottom: 30px !important;padding-right: 30px !important;}”]

  • Introduction – Amy Hale
  • Taro As Colour –  Ithell Colquhoun
  • Seventy-eight enamel taro card designs, reproduced in six colours
  • Index of correspondences, citing esoteric names, traditional tarot names, King scale colours and cabalistic letters

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