The inner journey

Born in Pierreville, four kilometers from the village where she presently lives, Julia Legoux feels completely at home in the 'Cotentin' region where she has been settled for the last few years now. Big towns holding little appeal for her given their somewhat sterile bustle, solitude equates with freedom in her eyes. Self-taught, she never stops questioning things. Could this feeling then be one of the impulses of her painting? What is however certain is that Julia Legoux is a woman of character or temperament as it is said. She has a way with words and expresses herself as easily with words as she does with a paint-brush. People are however important to her which cannot necessarily be said for all her peers. Therefore she openly acknowledges the fact she has gained a lot from working with children, a considerable sign of humility. First a primary school teacher she then specialized in child psychology and became a psychomotor physiotherapist. « During therapeutical sessions, » she divulges, « the kids, that I always treated as unique beings, gave back the energy I spent on them. I worked a lot on pyschological problems that inhibit intelligence and creativity. Just like therapy art is work based on "form". Therefore for several years I was able to switch from one activity to the other without difficulty. All that was lacking was enough time to undertake everything I wanted to do. Since then I have managed to catch up a little. »

Full of a rare energy and wholeheartedly embracing her destiny, Julia Legoux continually communicates with canvas. « There comes a time when it is the canvas which decides. If I do not listen to it, it rejects me. I set off from my desire to paint and I confront the void. The subject emerges all of a sudden then little by little takes form. I then have to submit to the free-will of the painting. » Firstly figurative then abstract (it was, let it be stressed, an intensely fruitful period), Julia resumed figurative painting, yet this time delving to the deepest depth of her being where the inherited seeds of her childhood stirred. The appeal oriental women hold for her originates from that far-off period when every object, unusual or not, can be tinged with the extraordinary. For Julia it was large vases brought back from the Far East by a close relative. However it was only recently that she established a link between this event and her obsessional inspiration in the noblest sense of the term. Why paint Asians when one is a descendant of the Vikings? « I who do not travel have been working on an exotic theme for a good ten years now. In fact I work on the theme of women, but they definitely deserve it, Julia exclaims laughingly. For me it is a real pleasure, which is however expressed with a certain violence. » The colour is clear maintaining a distinct preference for red and orange colours whilst not neglecting blue colours which are of a pure depth in the "‘Tibetan Princess". The painter who clearly demonstrates her preference for oil painting uses natural mineral pigments of considerable stability. This does not however prevent her from undertaking extremely beautiful gouaches, which in our opinion attain a purity which is rare in the domain of still life. « When I was little I realized I did not perceive the world as grown-ups did, Julia continues. Adults did not seem to discern what I felt. »

A harmonious combination of daring and restraint Julia Legoux may unknowingly be undertaking a type of self-portrait. Her young women often appear in twos. One of the two dominates, the other is introvert, a metaphor for the duality which inhabits a little each and everyone of us. Moreover they turn their backs on us and hold their heads in a regal and almost indifferent manner. In actual fact they are looking to the future. Their necks suggest a certain sensual refinement.We are almost tempted to caress their hair. « It is the human flesh which is interesting, notes the painter. I need to express what makes it so close. As for "success", a notion which has always been very delicate, it is not founded on illusion but indeed suffering and work. When we are true to ourselves we undergo everything without difficulty. In the end we are accepted on the condition that the person we are dealing with is also driven by truth. For me death is the area which God encompasses. It is the elegant side to human beings. Each and every one of us must learn to unburden that which haunts us. Painting incites a vibration, an emotion which is passed on from one being to another. One day a child with difficulties said to me; "do you know something Julia, you are a painter. You can tell. Not because if what you do but because of what you say." When I was little I remember the delight I felt when each morning the teacher wrote the date on the board. I would always say to myself "I'd like to have that pleasure when I'm older". » Today we can uphold, without running too much of a risk of making a mistake, that Julia Legoux is indeed a happy lady. She even admits to often being surprised at her own « success ».

Luis PORQUET - February 2005

Julia Legoux really is a Norman-woman at heart and remains true to North Cotentin, where she was born and now lives.

As a matter of fact, most of her exhibitions have taken place in Lower Normandy since her début in 1976 and the many prizes she was awarded at renowned shows testify for her talent and artistic reputation.

Much is skillfully hidden in the strange and attractive paintings by Julia LEGOUX to better express what is essential and let gestures and concepts break out.

She uses her great expertise in large energetic touches resulting in monochromes where light pops up and shapes are steeped in generosity and expression.

This is modern painting then, but without a single hint of vanity in it. It is extremely personal, pregnant with vitality. The motifs confront duality, whether they are sensual beings in a hazy atmosphere or brilliant daring flower arrangements. As for outdoors sites, Julia LEGOUX displays an almost shapeless liberalness conveying power, drama and suggestion that match the atmosphere she also creates for characters who remain mysterious but never lack energy nor expression and draw their nobility from magical colours and gestural commitment depicted with great talent.

Critics by André RUELLAN

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