linda keough

The emotional wrench of a mother’s love underpins the stunning new paintings of Linda Keough.

Her upcoming exhibition, simply titled New Works, is breathtaking. Ironically, a brilliance created during dark times as she nursed her ill mother: “Each painting contains within it, every human fibre, every breath in and out, and every ounce of creative energy felt during the 15 months that I cared for my mother.”

The paintings are a continuation of Linda’s previous art. Animals again become a metaphorical stand-in for humans, dominating lush dioramas which convey “the inferior way in which the natural world is seen by the human species.” But these rich scenes also reveal Linda’s most private insecurities, and her “inhibitions as a child growing up in a household of creative minds.”

In Self Reflection, scale is used to reference Linda’s “lack of self-belief, inferiority, and the notion that we are all a product of our own thoughts.” A black-and-white cow, both real and imagined in size, conveys this inner-most thought. While Fitting In reveals how being a hermit “makes it difficult to break out of the comfort zone of a studio and embrace the world outside.” A Tasmanian Devil, which faces its own set of difficulties “stands in as a reference to my own inhibitions.”

This brilliant exhibition may have been forged by pain. But there is a happy ending. Linda’s mother has now recovered: “I’d like to acknowledge the legend that is my mother – her love and support – and the rock that is my partner, without whom this work would not exist.”

Linda Keough’s New Works Exhibition runs from January 27 – February 13 at the Handmark Gallery.