|When Jan Nigro began to talk about the new series of works she was developing she was intrigued to find a common thread in the response. It was a memory that those who had read the book had of “Blue forget-me-knots on red hair” It struck her that it was not the sensational response one receives for merely mentioning D.H. Lawrence’s 1928 novel.
Pascale Ferran whose own film, released in 2006, based on Lawrence’s third version of the story says Lawrence was “... against his times, the puritanical England of the 1920s.” and that he wanted “to try to put sexuality back where he thought it should be. That is, as an integral part of a romantic relationship...” but Lawrence is “accused of obscenity... and today that's all we remember, the transgression, the scandal. Eighty years later, that's no longer where we are. ... Sexuality is no longer something shameful, it's pretty much being marketed to us everywhere we turn...”
Yet do a web search on ‘nudity and art’ and you find the debate continues.
Nigro agrees, as a painter of the nude, she has never shied from difficult subjects but she is aware of a stigma that is attached to nudity and sexuality in art. Like Lawrence she has suffered a few battles and like Lawrence she wasn’t the first to work on such themes. It is society’s response that interests her. Nigro knows she must take a cautious path. For her it is the unfolding relationships of the story that intrigue her: Lady Chatterley to her husband, the husband to his wife, Lord to Gamekeeper, Gamekeeper to Lady Chatterley. Male to female, female to male - they are the reason she returns to the human form as her main source of subject matter.
Lawrence’s story therefore provides a rich source of content for her to mine and her approach is one we can only admire.