Vivienne Westwood playing cards to go under the hammer for Greenpeace

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Pioneering fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood is no longer with us, but her good work continues…

The former primary school teacher was one of the most brilliant fashion designers of all time, a rebel with a flare of the theatrical, who injected her love for anarchy, fun, sex and the avant-garde into her iconoclastic designs.

The ‘Queen of Punk’ was also a climate activist, and her outspoken nature made her a favourite with Gen Z.

Now, a series of playing cards designed by Westwood to raise awareness about environmental and political issues are to go up for sale to raise funds for Greenpeace.

Before her death in December 2022, the fashion designer conceived the idea – “The Big Picture – Vivienne’s Playing Cards” – which takes 10 of her digital graphics which highlight messages close to her heart and sees them printed on large-scale autographed cards.

These limited-edition playing cards will go under the hammer on 25 June with the auction house Christie’s, who announced the posthumous project on what would have been Dame Vivienne’s 83rd birthday.

The Big Picture – Vivienne’s Playing Cards

For the project, she designed a set of playing cards using strong graphics to convey a “culture-led economic strategy to save the world”.

They will be sold in a portfolio which contains 10 digital prints that have been printed on Hahnemuhle Museum Etching 350gsms paper and signed with pencil.

The first portfolio will be going to auction with an estimated price of £30,000 to £50,000 (€35,000 – €58,000).

The Big Picture – Vivienne’s Playing Cards

The designer often featured playing cards in her campaigns and designs, with her idea to use them for her Climate Revolution project originally conceived in 2017.

The Vivienne Foundation said: “Throughout her lifetime Vivienne used her voice to lead a relentless fight for justice. Continuously highlighting the corruption in the world and trying her best to make the world a better place. It was Vivienne’s ambition prior to her death to raise a significant amount of money for Greenpeace to help them protect our rainforests and oceans and save the planet from climate change.”

The foundation, which is the owner and custodian of Dame Vivienne’s art work and copyrights, added: “Vivienne felt passionately driven to act when she learned about the Democratic Republic of Congo wanting to open up its precious rainforests for oil exploration and development.”

John Sauven, former executive director of Greenpeace UK, added: “Vivienne was well known as a rebel for most of her life but rarely without a cause. For Vivienne, activism was her life.”

He continued: “Vivienne has left us the playing cards, an important work of art, that enables her ideas to live on in all of us.”

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