Linda James has worked as a full-time artist since 1980 and has exhibited widely nationally. Since graduating from the Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 1983, she has received several awards, including the Olivia Spencer Bower Award in 1989 and a Creative New Zealand grant in 2003. She was a runner up in the VISA Gold Art Award in 2003, and was selected for the Artists in the Sub-Antarctic Scheme. In 2002 Linda was Artist in Residence at Avonside Girls High School in Christchurch. Key exhibitions have included: Fallen, 2010, Out of the Chaos: Precious Lives, 2007, Sleep in the Forest, Dreams of the Sea, 2006, Other People, 2004, and Out Of the Chaos II, 2002, all exhibited at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Christchurch. Disegno Interno, 1996 at the Robert McDougall Art Gallery also toured to the Judith Anderson Gallery, Auckland and the Jonathan Jensen Gallery, Christchurch, and Narrative of War: A Drawing Installation was exhibited at the Rangiora Public Art Gallery in 1999.
James' formal strategy involves appropriating images from Western art history and the contemporary media to explore how traditional notions of identity and authenticity are destabilized and trivialized in an environment where the commerce in images (via television, the internet, advertising) have reached saturation point. James has a preoccupation with our experience of reality as a media construct and presents her 'solution'; to re-present these fleeting news fragments as carefully considered (and, at times, monumental) paintings in the reflective space of the art gallery.