Ely Raman lived with his mate Joan Lawrence in Victoria on Canada´s Pacific coast. The OH Cards have been a central feature of both their lives.
During the years that he taught art at Rutgers University in New Jersey one of Ely`s preferred forms of expression was what he called “variable structures”.
By 1975 this theme in his art together with his longtime passion for playing cards had laid the foundation for OH. A deck of card-sized pictures which Ely had painted became suddenly potentised by the stroke of genius that led him to create word cards, exchangeable frames which turned his deck of images into the veritable “variable structure” he had conceived of, a form capable of constant change.
Ely also conceived and painted the SAGA, the MYTHOS and the PERSONA cards, the painting of the PERSONITA cards became a co-creation with Marina Lukyanova who had already painted COPE. All these card-paintings which fit in the pocket, which fit in the hand, make themselves available to endless combination and invite their users to be also participants in art. Ely´s wish to minimise the distance between art and the observer (which we know so well from galleries and museums) has been fulfilled in the creation of this genre.