12 Apr 2017

Hull 52: What’s the deal?

Our city’s creatives play their hand

Ask 52 of Hull’s creative types to design their own playing card, and you’re guaranteed a diverse deck.

Hull 52 is a project that showcases the diversity of Hull’s unique creative landscape but is also a true reflection of the artistic talent in the city.

The project – conjured up by local artist Adam Kerr, managed by Lewis Beedham and supported by advertising and creative communication agency yesyesBD – has allowed artists from a range of backgrounds including students, teachers and freelancers to create unguided, uncensored designs, in completely their own style.

The result is nothing short of eclectic. We took a closer look at just a handful of the designs produced by our local creatives.


Jemma Klein – Queen of Diamonds  

Jemma specialises in hand-rendered art and illustration with a love for all things film, art and comics. Jemma’s design features two symmetrical and sinister-looking black-and-white queens alongside red geometric shapes which together, form the shape of a diamond.

Jemma has a selection of limited-edition prints available inspired by films such as Sofia Coppola’s Lost In Translation and supernatural fiction series Stranger Things.

Jemma Klein © Hull 52


Abbie Rial (Abbie Stabby King of Hearts   

Freelance artist Abbie Rial’s design is inspired by her enduring love of bears, beer, and “ugly” music. “I’ve always wanted to attempt some death metal style artwork, so I thought, what better opportunity to have a go?” says Abbie. Abbie says she challenged herself to work on something outside of her usual comfort zone for this project. Abbie describes the design as “detail-intensive and evil looking”. “Each hair was individually drawn on with a really fine nib, so a lot of time went into completing it,” she says. “I’m pretty happy with the results.”

Abbie Stabby © Hull 52


Kerry Connor  Queen of Spades   

With few limitations on criteria, Kerry had bags of fun with her design. Created using Adobe Illustrator after a rough hand sketch, Kerry’s elegant design features a glamorous Queen of Spades with intricate spades placed on various positions on the body.  Kerry says: “My medium is predominantly digital, but the Hull deck showcases artist’s skills in all different forms. I’m glad to be part of something showing a wide diversity in design.”

Kerry Connor © Hull 52


Will Slater  King of Diamonds  

Photographer Will Slater mainly works in self-portrait. Here, Will wanted to subvert the traditional playing card layout while keeping the same basic structure. “I wanted to incorporate the diamond design, albeit with a geometric twist,” says Will. “I then used the diamond-shaped cutouts on my face to create a kind of stylised caricature as you’d find on a traditional card.”

Will Slater © Hull 52


Faye Dickinson  Ace of Hearts  

Student Faye Dickinson design features a bold, bloody heart. Faye has always been interested in the human body. For her design, Faye wanted to “divert away from the traditional representation of the nude due to the issues that can surround it – particularly in history and in mainstream visual culture”. An old medical book with diagrams from the late 1800s to the early 1900s provided Faye with a solid reference to work from. Faye brought her illustrations to life with paint. “When I’m painting, I’m thinking of the shapes, form and colour, which the heart builds upon,” she says.

Faye Dickinson © Hull 52


Rebecca Cundy  Two of Hearts   

Rebecca Cundy’s passion for animals led her to design two bears attached to a set of lamp posts. “Animals are some of my favourite subjects to draw,” says Rebecca. “I also wanted to incorporate elements of Hull into the theme, because of my love of Hull and 2017.” Rebecca was inspired by the steel bear sculptures reaching out to one another from their lamp posts in Albany Street, off Spring Bank. “It’s not every day you see a bear on a lamp post,” she says. “hopefully a few people will make the connection!”

Rebecca Cundy © Hull 52


Gareth Sleightholme  Jack of Clubs   

Teacher Gareth Sleightholme read up on the history and symbolism of playing cards and their tarot equivalents. Inspired by the work of Sergio Toppi, Gareth chose a double-headed theme, with a half-male, half-female mystical character symbolising the good and bad associations with tarot cards.

Rebecca Cundy © Hull 52


To see all 52 cards visit the website or check them out on instagram.


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