Although the Shooting Paintings were about feminine empowerment they were still violent and dark. Niki de Saint Phalle took a much different direction in the next phase of her work. With her demons of the past being tamed she is said to be inspired by the pregnancy of a close friend. Niki decided to celebrate the female form in all its traits fertility, generosity and a joy of spirit. In this quest she created the Nanas. From the French slang for chick the nanas were colorful incarnation of nature and fruitfulness of femininity. The first Nanas were paper Mache, cloth, and yarn, but by the end they were in every medium including books.
The artistic climax of the Nana’s came in 1966 with or She the Cathedral in Stockholm a temporary Giant Nana pictured below.
Then came the Tarot Garden. With land lent to Niki de Saint Phalle near Tuscany she set out to make a interactive sculpture park based on the major arcana cards in a tarot deck. This endeavor would be the most costly and time consuming work yet. The budget was over 5 million dollars much was donated but Niki raised at least 1/3 of it herself buy launching a perfume and doing other smaller instillations on the side. Construction started in 1975 and the park opened in 1998. Work was slowed because of her failing health and she died in 2002.