Linda Va‘aelua is of Samoan and Scottish heritage and grew up in West Auckland, New Zealand. She graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Design (Visual Communications) from Unitec.
With more than 20 years’ experience as a graphic designer, she was the first Pasifika art director for the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly and has worked on other publications, including the New Zealand Listener. More recently, Linda designed the award-winning book NUKU: Stories of 100 Indigenous Women (finalist Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2022, finalist PANZ Book Design Awards 2022).
In 2021, she launched her visual arts career with a virtual exhibition HALF, and has since been practising as a full-time artist, with numerous group and solo exhibitions to date. Linda’s work explores her mixed heritage through abstracted shapes and patterns. Often painting onto disused coffee bean sacks which are repurposed and sewn together referencing fala, siapo and Scottish hearaldry. Mauga, sun shapes and stitched wool speak of navigation across hemispheres, resulting in a visual depiction of her gafa.