If there is anything that has made the pandemic even slightly more bearable, it has been all the art. From all the Netflix that we have been watching, Instagram art stalking that we have been doing, to the books that we might’ve finally have picked up, art has not just captured the solitude and terror of modern life but also been a reminder that life is worth living. Going one step beyond and making art functional is Cards for a Cause, a design-led social initiative selling a deck of collaborative artists-made playing cards aimed at raising funds. Jointly created by online poetry platform The Artlet Poetry and creative agency Cliq, this project is born out of their “simple desire to help people the way art helps us during difficult times”.
Launched last Friday, this deck features vibrant playing cards costing Rs 700 (about $9). The entire profits from it will go to the Give India organisation, which will use these funds to buy meals for the hungry. 60 amazing artists have come together to put their art on this deck and design the pack, which took over two months to come to fruition. “The point and the beauty of the deck of cards is to capture the many things people were feeling,” says Rhea Patel, the founder of Cliq. "It is about how everybody comes together in difficult times to support each other.”
Nidhi Shah, the curator of The Artlet Poetry, got the idea while playing cards with her niece in May. “It was such a tough time for all of us,” she tells VICE. “I, personally, used to browse through videos of artwork to brighten up my mood. Cards and art became the two things that personally really helped me cope, and that led us to Cards for a Cause, in the hope that it'd help other people out too.” The fact that cards are such a universal collectible not restricted to a particular age, also helped Patel in figuring a canvas that can not just work as a medium for the artists but also be put to use as we live our life indoors.
While most artists sent in their artwork for the cards, some also helped them with design and packaging. All of them offered their talents pro bono. Some cards draw inspiration from our indoor lives, like that massive load of laundry that doesn’t seem to end (by Mitali Mantri), some give coronavirus mantras a new meaning (by Priyadarshani Kacker), and some are just an attempt at healing (like the one by Hanifa Hameed).
Check out their other works down here, and buy yourself a do-gooder deck here.
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