Through The Clouds and Behind The Curtains
by Anne Faith Nicholls
Acrylic on canvas 60" x 48"
This is a symbolically narrative painting depicting the revelation of subconscious thoughts. The pulling back of the curtains can be interpreted as a symbolic gesture of looking within one’s self, or introspection, and the overall darkness of the work’s color pallet suggests a darker subtext. It’s all about transparency here, from the subject’s sheer dress, to the open book, to the actual layered composition of the painting, depicting multiple environments and alternate perspectives. As the eye begins reading the work from left to right, a deck’s ladder offers an entrance point to a lake, which can be alternatively read as the murky waters of one’s subconscious. The symbolic representation of thoughts continues within the black clouds… A lemon tree with a snake suggests being wary of “tart fruits” or perhaps something that’s too good to be true. The black crow with an arrow represents cleverness overcoming defensiveness, as the crow is often regarded as a common bird with extraordinary intelligence. The all-seeing eye represents a human ability to decode subconscious thoughts and dreams, seeing them for what they truly are. The bed itself is one of the artist’s signature devices for depicting and honoring traditional surrealism, here used as a resting platform in which the girl sits, on fire with life and emotion, perhaps burned in the past, but now and cleansed and saved by rain (or consciousness itself) and liberated from her own dark thoughts through awareness.