A new set of cards from Laurence King offers motivational daily mantras from inspirational women throughout history, with fun depictions of said stars by Irish, London-based illustrator Laura Callaghan. Feminist Oracles is written by British Sri Lankan writer, curator and editor Charlotte Jansen, whose book Girl on Girl examines art and photography from the female gaze. This latest project sees Jansen turn 50 iconic women, from Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Angela Davis and Malala Yousafzai, into personal gurus via a tongue-in-cheek set of divination cards, each card offering nuggets of their individual wisdom.
Each card features a portrait of the women illustrated by Laura Callaghan, an illustrator known for her images of fierce, empowered women drawn in vivid colours using watercolour, Indian ink and isograph pen, always rich with character. Callaghan illustrated It’s Nice That’s campaign for International Women’s Day in 2018, bringing together a spectrum of personas all designed to appear “comfortable in their own skin, exuding confidence and defiance,” she described.
For Feminist Oracles, the illustrator has turned her hand to images of Jacinda Ardern, Hari Nef, Judy Chicago, Zanele Muholi, Pussy Riot, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Oprah Winfrey, Emma Watson, Serena Williams, Roxane Gay, Sojourner Truth, Fu Yuanhui, Nicola Adams, Sheryl Sandberg and lots, lots more. Each is portrayed with defiance and joy, against a background that suggests their professional realm and accompanied by tidbits of life advice – for example Angela Davis’ “When you don’t see change, be the change,” or Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s “women who are the exception can become the rule”.
The set of cards also comes with a book offering more detail about each woman, also written by Jansen.
Feminist Oracles is published by Laurence King, out today.