At 78, Jo gets to grips with the naked truth

PUBLISHED: 16:04 09 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:28 07 September 2010

Jo Diamond, now 78, thinks her younger self would be impressed, if a little shocked, by her spirited interpretations of the naked body at Burgh House in Hampstead. She says the young Jo would have especially appreciated today s male models for their robu

Jo Diamond, now 78, thinks her younger self would be impressed, if a little shocked, by her spirited interpretations of the naked body at Burgh House in Hampstead.

She says the young Jo would have especially appreciated today's male models for their robust form and ease of physical expression.

"In the post-war years male models were hard to find and a full unveiling prohibited, to say nothing of improper," Diamond says.

As a student at Bath Academy of Art and Goldsmiths, her preferred media were oils and sculpting in clay. Influences included Sickert, Vuillard and Bonnard - and more recently Morandi's still life drawings and Van Gogh's studies of figures.

She seeks out exhibitions that show an artist's drawings as well as paintings since first impressions are "essentially the bones of it".

In her own life drawing, she is "stimulated by the pose, the lines of the figure and the space around it, then the process of drawing becomes almost subconscious".

Explaining the work in Transfigured: Drawings from Life she says "I aim to set down my initial impression of the subject, and then, to some extent, transform it."

Diamond worked as an art teacher in grammar schools then in painting restoration, and has lived in Hampstead since 1966.

At New End Square NW3 until Sunday, noon to 5pm.

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