A series of paintings by Jane Nicol.





“They are Portals; to another dimension, where colours have a scent and divine beings walk among us, and fall and scrape their knees, and bleed like anybody else.” Lix North, Artist


In 2003, after a severe adverse reaction to medication, it seemed as though I stepped through a portal into an alternate reality. Not only was the reality different but the ‘I’ that perceived reality was not the same person I had known for half a century.


The Portal Series of paintings are paintings from the land through that portal in which I now live. Sometimes there are words that go with these paintings.



Words Behind the Portal Series, by Jane Nicol


Anthem for Pfizer


Our lives are filled with ways to escape pain. More and more invitations to escape, ~ mind altering substances, virtual reality games, reality TV, toys and lollies, ~ analgesics for the body and mind; invitations to step away from the awareness of unfocused, pointless existence, or perhaps the unimportance of our focus in existence. Craving comfort and relief we blind ourselves to the consequences of accepting the invitation, the quick fix.


Anthem for Pfizer is inspired by the my experience with the blockbuster prescription medication Gabapentin (Neurontin), manufactured and marketed by Pfizer, the International, multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company.


Anthem for Pfizer (Poem)


Holy, Holy, Pfizer merciful and mighty,
Lord of drug angels


Why should I face and befriend pain,
when you offer all-powerful mercy.


Lifted to altered reality on Archangel Gabapentin wings;


I sold my mind, myself,
for that promised moment of relief


Jane Nicol 2005 – This poem accompanies the painting Anthem for Pfizer (Portal series).



Insight or Pathology


We all know the feeling of the rush of wind as we stand on the side of the road and a truck sweeps by. Since Gabapentin I feel the rush of wind… without the truck.


Insight or Pathology (Poem)


Fragments of alternity
surface and swim around me like sharks
I feel the sweep and pressure of their passing
yet cannot grasp their shape or know intent


lifted to altered reality on Archangel Gabapentin wings
no pattern no familiars


awe full insight


Jane Nicol 2006 – This poem accompanies the painting Insight or Pathology (Portal series).


Acting, As If  (Poem)


In the depth of wrenching dark


When I and my world break apart and fail


On some still level I will hold alternate truths to be


That the sun will eventually rise


That laughter breaks through impossibility


That open-heartedness, steeped in hot pain and despair, alchemizes into cold, clear Love.


Jane Nicol 2005 – This poem accompanies the painting Hanging over the Lead-lined Box of Despair (Portal Series)



No Me (Poem)


Swimming dizzy in a soup of fear
no breath no up no down
how long before


what is
that may drown
who I was
is now the soup
cooking at a rolling boil
no up no down no me


be careful


the illusion of
might boil dry


Jane Nicol 2004 – This poem accompanies the painting No Me (Portal Series)



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