Synopses & Reviews
Jackie Nickerson's Faith is a compelling portrayal of a hidden world, the Catholic religious orders of Ireland. Her combination of gentle portraits and simple documentation of daily rituals and communal devotion suggest an austere existence grounded in optimism, strength and contentment. The simplicity of Nickerson's images invokes the muted and restrained palette of Fra Angelico, bringing an often beatific air to her tranquil subjects. Whilst never suggesting that she is able to divine or represent the veiled mysteries of faith, Nickerson does manage to honestly present a vocational life riven by clarity of purpose and personal courage.
Jackie Nickerson has lived and worked in Paris, Tokyo, London and New York, and currently lives in rural Ireland. She has an international reputation for photographing people and their environments. In 2002, she published Farm, a book of portraits of farm workers taken across southern Africa. Her work is represented in many important collections, such as the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Santa Monica Museum.
Jackie Nickerson first came to prominence in the 1990s as a fashion photographer working in Milan, Paris and New York, and featured in Elle, Marie Claire, Wallpaper, German Vogue, Arena, Interview and other publications. For the past 10 years she has been traveling and working on her own projects, including the portraits of African workers that became her first book, Farm, and photojournalism for venues like The New York Times Magazine. This successor to Farm, titled Faith, takes Nickerson out of the baking African sun into the filtered light of Irish convents. For two-and-a-half years Nickerson photographed inside the churches, convents and abbeys of Ireland. Faith juxtaposes gentle portraits with straightforward images of daily rituals and communal devotion--neatly swept wood floors on long corridors, sunny libraries attended by beatific Virgin Mary figurines--to suggest an austere existence grounded in optimism, strength and contentment.
Edited by Michael Mack. Interview by Vince Aletti.