Women by Women with Delphine Lebourgeois
Delphine Lebourgeois, Black Blue, Archival pigment inks on Hahnemuhle PhotoRag paper - 2018, 84cm x 60cm Unframed, Limited edition of 35, £525 (unframed)
Delphine Lebourgeois, Sleepers, Archival pigment inks on Hahnemuhle PhotoRag paper - 2019, 94cm x 94cm unframed, Limited edition of 20, £850 (unframed)
Delphine Lebourgeois, The Silver Child, Archival pigment inks on Hahnemuhle PhotoRag paper finished by hand with silver ink, 101.5cm x 74.5cm, unframed, Limited edition of 20, £790 (unframed)
Delphine Lebourgeois, Whatever, Archival pigment inks with spot varnish overlay on Hahnemuhle PhotoRag paper - 2019, 60cm x 84cm, Limited edition of 20, £630 (unframed)
Delphine Lebourgeois, Forbidden, 2020, Archival print on Hahnemuhle Photorag paper, Limited edition of 35, 60x47cm, £375 (unframed)
Delphine Lebourgeois, Stellar Baby, 2018, Archival print on Hahnemuhle Photorag paper, Limited edition of 35, 60x75cm, £525 (unframed)
Delphine Lebourgeois has been working as an artist and illustrator in London since graduating from Central St Martins in 2005. Her work draws from various stylistic sources (ranging from Botticelli to comics) mixing symbols and cultural references in a playful and sometimes irreverent way.
Lebourgeois works in various medium including digital, collage, pencil, pen, ink, watercolour and screenprint but her working process always starts with an initial collage of found elements: “I am not very good at drawing therefore I need reference for everything. I create a rough on computer with cut out photos, drawings, paintings that I patch up pen or pencil depending on subject matter and whether the piece will be a limited edition or an original.
” Her latest series “Smoke” moves away from the intricate and very detailed pictures of crowds and armies featured in previous bodies of work, with together until they look like I need them too. It sounds a bit like Frankenstein's monster but this is the most exciting part, when the idea comes to life. Then the drawing begins with
images portraying a single individual smoking alone in calm surroundings. “Smoking is an interesting topic nowadays... in a society becoming more and more sanitised, we are not far from it turning into the next rebellious thing. For me, it belongs to youth and living the moment”
Delphine Lebourgeois was the winner of the Images 29 Critics Award. She was also one of the 4 artists nominated by public vote for the Club Monaco Emerging Artist Award in November 2011 and is represented in exhibitions and art fairs in London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong.
In the build up to the 'Women by Women' exhibition we reached out to Delphine Lebourgeois to find out more about her and her work.
At ROSL we are so glad to have you showing in the gallery for the upcoming show Women by Women. Can you talk a little bit about the work you are contributing?
The artworks on show are limited editions from various series spanning 6 or 7 years.
“Whatever” (the most recent one) is part of a collection titled "Idlers" that explores the art and virtues of being idle . In a society dedicated to performance and speed, being idle seems like the ultimate rebellion. This series is an attempt at going against the flow, an ode to being lazy and carefree."Whatever" is the latest addition to the collection and a personal antidote to our somehow angst-ridden current political climate!
Is there something particularly relevant between your life experiences and the art you produce?
My images often echo what is happening in my personal life and in the world around us. The Idlers series for example came after a busy couple of years with back to back shows and art fairs which was hectic! At the moment I am working on a new theme “Witches”. In our current society , the figure of the witch represents the ultimate rebellious woman. The woman who isn’t scared to speak out, to be herself freely, differently, liberated from society’s patriarchal archetypes.
Today, the liberation of women’s speech with movements like #Metoo is more and more prevalent. There is a much awaited, growing awareness of womens’ rights which makes for exciting times, but gender inequalities -including in the art world- are still very much present and call for faster changes.
Can you describe one artwork or series from your oeuvre that you feel was pivotal in your career?
In 2010 I made a limited edition titled “Army”. It was my first group of women, and it set the tone for the future.
Feminism has always been strongly present in my work and the "group" is particularly important to me for its political dimension and the empowerment it conveys. In fact, this year, 10 years after this first Army, I produced my largest drawing based on the same design
Do you have any other artists that you look to as inspiration? What makes a great artist?
I recently discovered the work of Nancy Fouts and I love her playfulness.
Otherwise from the top of my head, Prune Nourry, Deborah Roberts, Pipilotti Rist, JR, KAWS, Claire Tabouret, George Shaw and Abdelkader Benchamma
What advice would you give to emerging artists entering the art world?
Listen to your inner voice, don't be afraid to take risks, grab all the show opportunities that come along and never work for free.