This is an allegorical piece about aspirations. Balloons lift her up, a thick rope secures her, and an elephant, threatens to weigh her down. The elephant is small, a toy, incapable of thwarting her aspirations. What might have been a five-ton elephant is a wooden puppet. Our obstacles are often smaller in reality than what we imagine them to be.
The title, roughly translated, is “Fortune favors the bold.” Fortuna, being the ancient Roman goddess of luck and personal fortune, who could bring good luck or bad. In this moment, the rope trails the ground. She has yet to soar. Her thoughts seem inward, summoning courage, confronting apprehension. The way I see it, if she looks back, the elephant becomes huge, gray, and real. If she chooses to look at the balloons, they become enormous, multicolored, and lift her.
The articulated elephant puppet is family souvenir and connects me to my past, living and traveling in other cultures.
From a limited edition of 5 archival photographs
Signed and numbered by artist A K Nicholas