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About the Work“The Pageantry of Vision: Pageant” is one of Anne Faith Nicholls’ largest original paintings, and is described by the artist as one of her most important and personal works. A triptych consisting of three separate pictures “The Pageantry of Vision: Vision.” “The Pageantry of Vision: Pageant.” “The Pageantry of Vision: Record” which bleed into one another, this work tells the story of the creative process.
In a symbolic narrative intended to be read from left to right, the impetus of an idea is depicted. Starting with “The Pageantry of Vision: Vision.” perhaps divine or human, it’s formed exceptionally, from a mysterious five-eyed woman. Perhaps this represents the artist’s ability to see beyond that of a non-artist. Seemingly the vision “pours” out of her, in a most dramatic fashion, like tears, so powerful they pool on the very desk she sits at. However, like most ideas, there is an element of tragedy that lies within the execution of the vision itself. This is because often an idea proves elusive, and it becomes difficult to materialize results as grand as what lies in the mind’s eye. As a result of this limitation, we resort to pageantry to generate excitement about the idea instead.
In the second painting, ‘The Pageantry of Vision: Pageant” tragedy is depicted as a “pageant.” In the center of it all is a fox-headed woman, a therianthrope, both animal and human. Symbolism such as a fox head, top hats, and suit sleeves parallel this pageant to a fox hunt, or a “meat market” of sorts, as pageants usually end up. This could loosely suggest the experience of putting one’s creativity “on display.” and being both vulnerable to critique but prized for abnormality. The fox is used intentionally to symbolize both cunning and beauty- a rare prize to be won if caught. Her humanness however, remains naked, defenseless, and subject to judgment under the bright lights of pageantry.
As the eye continues left into the final painting “The Pageantry of Vision: Record.” we enter by way of a jungle, lush, thick and wild. Through this, one might imagine navigating the preverbal “jungle” of real life itself. Arriving at a desk, we see our subject again, this time depicted with a normal set of eyes, as she reaches to record her visual account in a burning blank sketch book. Notice that her finger almost touches the pencil… but not quite. This small moment is a direct reference to Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” in the Sistine Chapel, specifically Adam’s “latent touch” reaching for God, both inspired, but somewhat lazy, to make the connection with his creator.
Throughout the triptych, the visual plain is punctuated by blue landscapes. This suggests visions of utopia, good feelings, and inspiration. The artist will always attempt to capture and record these, usually in vain, as the mind’s eye is most always unachievable. Nevertheless, this utopic vision persists in dreamlike thought bubbles, and so goes the creative process; It is a fight to the end, a pageant, and tragedy altogether, and one can only hope to record a fraction of its surreal journey. “The Pageantry of Vision: Pageant” is a 48 x 60 – inch acrylic and enamel on canvas.
About the Artist
Anne Faith Nicholls is a truly unique addition to the contemporary art scene—she provides a refreshing look at the soul of the modern woman and artist. Born with a backwards heart, Nicholls has an inner strength that is inspirational and captivating. Her sense of adventure and exploration began in Victoria, British Columbia. Restless to travel to new places, she made her journey south to San Francisco, graduating from the Academy of Art University, and then on to Los Angeles where she resides today. She has traveled the world with a focus on studying the masters. This commitment to traditional painting has contributed to the development of her own unique style of utilizing both oil and acrylic to achieve a signature layered look and a saturated, antiqued, color palette.