Linda James: Disegno Interno

This exhibition is now closed

Linda James who has been working as an artist for 16 years first began exhibiting her work in 1980 after returning to Art School as an adult student with two small children. Since then she has created a significant place for herself as a contemporary woman artist.

Disegno Interno will involve a number of large loose canvas works which will continue her work with the theme of the female nude. As James says, "l am interested in how the human form is a component of our Western cultural language, how this relates to my own identity and cultural voice, and how I am compelled to both question and honour the cultural background I have been born with."

Early works from this series were first exhibited in 1994 in exhibitions at the Jonathan Jensen Gallery in Christchurch and in Auckland, and like them this new show will focus on large group compositions which have been based on old oil paintings familiar to many viewers.

Many of the initial sources are Renaissance works as the title she has given to the show makes reference. "Disegno lnterno" is a Renaissance term. It developed from the renewed interest in the philosophy of Plato and the platonic idea of an object held in the thinker's mind. Thus the perfect idea of a human figure which exists in the painter's mind is what he or she has to realise. They are not just copying any figure they happen to have in front of their eyes.

How Linda James presents these figures in her textured and layered canvases makes a significant and powerful statement. Disegno lnterno draws interesting questions from the cultural background in which we operate and in which the female nude has long continued to play an important role.

('Linda James - Disegno Interno', Bulletin, No.101, April/May 1996, p.2)