Roark Newman Pimlico State High School
King of Spades Photograph
A composition of four digitally edited photographs printed on paper, displayed with five playing cards attached


Artworks have long reflected dreams and aspirations, with wealth being one such desire. After visiting the Mona Art Gallery in Hobart, I became fascinated with how David Walsh used his wealth to build the largest privately funded museum in the southern hemisphere. With much of Mona’s building underground, ‘King of Spades’ makes symbolic reference to how gambling essentially enabled Walsh to clear the earth and create his multi-million dollar empire, or 'castle'. A photograph taken on my plane journey home has been incorporated to add an enchanting or dream-like feel to the artwork, as well as some actual cards.


‘King of Spades’ was a labour of love as I have always been fascinated with decks of cards, enthusiastically performing magic tricks from the age of eight. My Samsung was used to shoot cards individually or in fascinating compositions. Backgrounds include a sunset taken on a flight back from Tasmania, a timber floor, and desk. Ensuring some cards were centred for easy cropping, I was careful not to create shadows with my body or phone as I photographed. The king of spades card is the final touch to each frame. Chosen filters were Vignette, Negative, Magic Pen, Sketch, and Greyscale.


Roark Newman

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