Have you ever found yourself trying to piece together the back story of people in old photos? This happened to me a few years ago when I came across a photo of my grandfather’s family, pictured to the left. I’ve seen this image many times over the years and recall my grandmother disliking it due to the poverty it portrayed. While the hardship is undeniable, the image is rich with emotion. To me it symbolizes family members having no choice but to stay behind in Southern Italy while their eldest son immigrated to America. Living in their hearts must have been a strong mix of grief with hope that their son would find a better opportunity and return a rich man. This photo, costing more than the family could possibly afford, would serve as an important reminder of why the son immigrated. Sadly he would never return to Italy nor see his family again thus making the photo a priceless possession.
No one in my family knows the name of the child in the photo and this mystery has haunted me since my youth. As I grew older I found myself viewing him as a Page found in tarot decks. He began to represent a messenger of hope for something better and new. It’s because of this association that I began an art project that took me on an unexpected journey.
On January 1st of 2012 I committed to making art for the sake of aligning with creativity. My aim was to move out of the way in order to create an opening for art to express itself. Inspired by the mystery of the child in the photo, I decided to begin my artistic quest with him and exchanged his cane with a Page’s coin and again with a wand found in a Pamela A deck. This soon followed with other overlays of tarot imagery onto cabinet cards and at about twenty pieces into the project, and through the encouragement from others, the possibility for a full deck began to emerge.
Over time I posted samples of the deck on Facebook and as a result have received some sweet feedback from many of you asking when and where the deck can be purchased. However before I can point you to an order page I still need to finish the deck and could really use your help in reaching that finish line.
How can you help? It’s easy. I’m looking for extra images that will help complete the deck and would love to include photos of your relations.
If you have older, preferably pre-1915, sepia toned cabinet cards, and/or hand tinted or black and white photos from your family album that you would like to see included in this deck, then please, by all means submit them. I can only take high resolution scans in jpeg format.
I can’t promise that all photos will be used, but what I can offer is a free deck to the submissions that do find their way into the deck. Contact me here with any questions.
If you do submit a photo with your inquiry, please add any history you know of the person in the image and which tarot card you think would be a good match for your image.
Thank you so much for reading, sharing this information, and possibly contributing to this project. I’d love to give our families this new opportunity to guide us.