John Walter

Lockdown Tarot

  • Jar, Looe Street, PL4 0EB
  • Sloggett & Sons, Union Street, PL1 3HL
  • KARST, George Place, PL1 3NY

Booking link below

Co-commissioned by Visual Arts Plymouth CIC and KARST, Lockdown Tarot is a new fortune-telling performance by John Walter using a brand-new deck of cards that he drew during lockdown using the VR software Tilt Brush. This new tarot deck features images from Walter’s repertoire including allusions to art history, popular culture and politics. Lockdown Tarot responds to the current Covid-19 emergency using Walter’s trademark colour, humour and absurdity. Lockdown Tarot is composed of a minor arcana of four suits – the antibodies, vaccines, receptors and masks - and a higher arcana of 22 picture cards. The tarot is an algorithm, a repertoire of 78 images that can be shuffled and arranged into an infinite range of narrative sequences, and an ideal container for Walter’s epic, maximalist aesthetic. Lockdown Tarot demonstrates Walter’s approach to using hospitality as a device for engaging audiences in his ideas and images. The costume that he wears is a form of drag that is jestered as opposed to gendered. Audiences are empowered to ask him and the tarot anything. This leads to memorable and transformative conversations between strangers. 

Lockdown Tarot readings - engaging with the commission:

  • Friday 25 Sept, 11am-1pm - bookable slots at JAR
  • Friday 25 Sept, 1.30-5pm - drop in slots at JAR*
  • Saturday 26 Sept, 11am-1pm - bookable slots at Sloggett & Sons SOLD OUT
  • Saturday 26 Sept, 1.30-5pm - drop in slots at Sloggett & Sons*
  • Sunday 27 Sept, 11am-1pm - bookable slots at KARST
  • Sunday 27 Sept, 1.30-5pm - drop in slots at KARST*

* for drop-in slots, just turn up and a PAW volunteer will greet you. You may need to queue whilst you wait your turn

John Walter is a visual artist working across a diverse range of media including painting, moving image, installation, Virtual Reality and curating. His work is characterised by a disarming use of colour, humour and hospitality. Wellcome and Arts Council England have supported his work, and he was awarded the 2016 Hayward Curatorial Open for Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness. The Arts Council Collection and The Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool have collected his work.

Recent exhibitions include:

  • Queer Algorithms (Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland, 2020)
  • Co-Factors (Suttie Arts Space, Aberdeen, 2020)
  • Brexit Gothic (DKUK, 2019)
  • Crep Suzette - A Shoe Show (with Bert McLean, LUVA, 2019)
  • The Fourth Wall (Look Again Festival Aberdeen, 2019)
  • Booze Guitar (Matt’s Gallery, 2018); CAPSID (CGP and HOME, 2018); Somewhere in Between (Wellcome Collection, 2018)
  • Coming Out: Sexuality Gender and Identity (Walker Art Gallery, 2017)
  • The Zany Capsid (Hardwick Gallery, 2017).