Painting creates extraordinary spaces that register presence. All painting is about mythology, and creating fictions that act as a strong identification with the human condition. Assimilating mythologies from the past and realising them in a language of the present gives us power over our lives; imaging and imagining a world where care is universal, shared and valued.
My paintings use a language that I think of as a ‘vernacular’. There are recognisable and interpretable figures, symbols and patterns that aim to engage our empathy, promote and value for those who care for world around us. These are primarily women, who around the world perform 80% of domestic work and care, often for no monetary remuneration or societal recognition or value.
Tiny figures creep out from colourful ornamental designs, crowded scenes and patterned designs are often resonant of medieval art or ‘old masters’ yet parody power structures that create constraints on women’s lives. They often satirise hierarchies in which women – and especially mothers have been absent.
The ‘main stage’ of large paintings feature idealised female figures who are fluid female archetypes. Figures are juxtaposed with surreal domestic scenes, patterns and landscapes that are intentionally heaving with symbols and historical references that pull you backwards and forwards through time.
I think of painting as a way of thinking through complex systems, with multiple and entangled narratives. Creating multiple threads and rewriting stories, paintings advocate for gender justice, eco-feminism, and social equality. Connecting values of reciprocity and care, my paintings aim to make women visible.
Delpha often works in other painting media besides acrylic on canvas including bitumen and oil or watercolour and ink: