Inspired by her mixed-media paintings and drawings, Pulling Weeds from a Garden is Nathalie Tierce’s second book. In the introduction, Tierce says, “The symbolism that developed in these works came from the turbulence, fear, and confusion we were experiencing and trying to wade our way through” in response to the onset of COVID-19, the subsequent lockdown, and the “disturbing, deeper currents running through our society” that the pandemic has made many aware of.
Considering the strong emotions fueling the symbolism, the artistic works in Pulling Weeds from a Garden are exceptionally vivid and bring to mind visions from nightmares, thus accurately reflecting an examination into the uncomfortable components of the psyche. Bodies of human figures and beasts—and sometimes a monstrous mix of both—twist, stretch, distort, hunch, bend, and reach against backdrops often scratched and splattered with red that could be interpreted as blood or the draining of a life force. These are expressions of the subconscious, and they are highly impactful.
A brief paragraph of free-form prose accompanies each work of art, with some of the writing inspired by Aesop’s Fables, according to Tierce. The works have titles that include “Fireside Dance,” “Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” and “Speeding Back to the Comfort of Hell.” Most of the works are mixed media on watercolor, with some being pastel on paper and acrylic on canvas. Pulling Weeds from a Garden largely functions as a showcase of these works, which put modern-day horrors in artistic perspective and perhaps aid in the processing of the difficult thoughts and emotions that arise from facing such horrors. It’s a potent release. –Gina Murrell (Indigo Raven Publishing, 350 N Glendale Ave. Ste #306, Glendale, CA 91206, nathaliepierce.com)