This is one of the Nana scultures by Niki de Saint Phalle and you don’t need me to tell you it’s celebrating life, colour and being a woman. It’s a good feeling for this holiday week.
Inspired by Antoni Gaudí’s Parc Güell in Barcelona, Spain, she created her own sculpture park in Italy. Work started in 1980 and I think – in true Gaudi style – it still continues. She also developed her own perfume to help finance it and if it smells any thing like the spirit of the Nanas sculptures I want some. Now.
Much of her work is public art and can be seen in Europe and America. According to Wikipedia the only axample in the British Isles is a triangular mirror mosaic above the entrance to the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art
A critic has observed that Saint Phalle’s “insistence on exuberance, emotion and sensuality, her pursuit of the figurative and her bold use of color have not endeared her to everyone in a minimalist age”.
I bet. But I think a picture of your favourite Nana (google them) should be stuck inside the door of a kitchen cupboard or near your computer screen just because…
And what as writers should we take away from her work…? Perhaps it’s inspiration for poets striving to pin down a moment, a feeling, rather than create a structured narrative. And for prose writers? It is easier to write the dark emotions – anger, despair, depression – than it is to capture the light magic of joy. Well, Niki de Saint Phalle managed it without making it cute or clouded in a kind of gauzy romanticism.
Give a go. Forget minimalist.
Glory in the colour of your words and the strength of your metaphors. It is tinsel time, after all.