by Linda Linko
by Linda Linko
ECHOES BY LINDA LINKO
Linda Linko is a Finnish painter and illustrator. During her residency at Villa Filanda Antonini she conceives a site-specific project aimed at establishing a dialogue with the productive memory of the place. Linda interrogates the past by representing the workforce employed in silk production: women.
On the canvases Linda traces the faces, movements, and expressions of the women workers, drawing on historical images from the Luce Archives and Fast Treviso Archive. Hers is an emotional and empathetic gaze aimed at capturing the details of manual labor. Her attention focuses, above all, on the contrast between the fixity of the workers’ gaze and the liveliness of their movements “like those of fingers unrolling cocoons in boiling water.”
This dissonance is embedded in the paintings generating questions in Linda: “What was hiding behind their serious looks? What kind of jokes were they telling each other? What made them smile? Did the girls think about the boys? What was their wisdom? What was their pain? What was their color?”
The questions -and their possible answers- become part of the canvas the moment Linda says, “I would not call these works of art portraits, rather the echoes of the people who may have worked in these places. Perhaps they are the voices of your grandmothers.”
When she speaks of place Linda is referring to the idle factory overlooking Villa Filanda Antonini, which is where she chooses to work for the duration of her residency. Accustomed to painting in a small studio in Helsinki, she has appropriated the former industrial space -over 5,000 square meters- incorporating it within the painting and creative process. The large empty space is used as a veritable soundbox that seems to amplify the echo of the voices and faces immortalized.
The theme of sound permeates transversally throughout the entire project, inextricably uniting the painted subject and artistic action. Linda states, “The factory creates a long-lasting echo. I have never been more aware of my every movement and sound. I see myself focused on painting people who, in turn, are focused on their own work. In a way, I could be the subject of the painting myself.”
Linda’s works will be exhibited until January 6, 2023. The exhibition is accessible free of charge, Monday through Friday by appointment. To reserve a visit it is necessary to write to: firstname.lastname@example.org