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Healing by Nikollah

Part of a 2019 series of 8 paintings titled ‘THE RAINBOW’, Healing by French artist Nikollah is a 102x76cm painting that focuses on the colour orange. Each piece included in this series centralises itself on a particular colour, coming together as an abstract interpretation of the LGBTQ+ pride flag.

The words ‘life’ and ‘vie’ – the French translation of life – layer over themselves behind the blue figure. As an individual painting, though keeping within the context of the LGBTQ+ community, Healing feels emotional and progressive in regard to social commentary and history.

Nikollah chooses a figure who is pushing a negative past and history behind them, allowing a once heavily prejudiced community to heal and live the lives they dream of. This metaphor that Nikollah chooses to portray in this piece sends a strong message for the community this series audience is aimed for.

In terms of artistic style, this artist seems to experiment frequently, keeping us excited in anticipation for what style he will utilise next. Controlling chaos that comes with style experimentation seems to be a particularly strong theme for this artist, using random shapes and marks within the restriction of a set form or outline. What is interesting about Healing in the greater context of THE RAINBOW series, is that upon first glance, it does not feel very political or socially commentative. It allows each piece to have its own message and significance separate from being displayed as a collection.

Words by Chloe Copley