FEATURE: ‘The Spanish Woman’ by Julia Holden

The Spanish Woman (Jack Mitchell-Anyon, after Edith Collier), by Julia Holden, 2019, photographic recording of a painting on live model, archival pigment print, 1 of 1.
The Spanish Woman (Jack Mitchell-Anyon, after Edith Collier)
by Julia Holden
2019, photographic recording of a painting on live model, archival pigment print, 1 of 1.
695 x 605mm framed

Painting directly on a live model, Julia Holden pays homage to a portrait by Edith Collier and elicits a sense of pathos that reaches between the two works. Although Holden’s model is a young man and the brush strokes are broad and stylised we find humanity captured in a way that surprises.
Edith Collier’s The Spanish Woman was painted in 1920. It was included in the Sarjeant Gallery’s 2018 exhibition 125: Celebrating Women from the Collection which ran while Holden was artist in residence at Tylee Cottage, Whanganui.

Consistently experimenting with modes of presentation, Julia Holden has developed an innovative painting practice that encourages public interaction, community connection and wider social engagement. Typically seeking locally for her living canvasses, Holden invited volunteers whose face may bear a resemblance to the original portraits. In this instance Julia chose Jack Mitchell-Anyon, a young Whanganui man.
When working in this way, Julia Holden considers her works to be a conversation with other artists across time. Connecting the past to the present she aims to honour the original works while also, through her distinctive style and humour, making them completely her own.

'The Spanish Woman' by Edith Collier, 1920, oil on canvas ‘A Cornish Woman of Spanish Descent’ by Edith Collier, Circa 1916, oil on canvas
Edith Collier is one of New Zealand’s most significant early modernist female painters. Born in Whanganui, she spent eight years studying and painting in the United Kingdom, producing work that demonstrated awareness of early 20th century European Art and developing a unique Modernist aesthetic. She returned to Whanganui in 1922, where she found the surrounding conservative community did not respond well to her strong post-impressionist style. Collier often painted real-life subject matter, depicted with vivid fluid use of colours, often thick application of paint, while emphasising geometric forms.

The Spanish Woman (Jack Mitchell-Anyon, after Edith Collier)
was exhibited in Julia Holden: Sarjeant Portraits, 22 Dec 2018 to 17 Feb 2019
And at PG gallery192 in Julia Holden: Newly Formed, 26 Aug to 20 Sept 2019

Works in stock by Julia Holden