27 February 2012

Hugh Delap


Can you briefly describe what you do?

I make small abstract paintings on paper and canvas.

What drives you to make work?

I am interested in how I can visually articulate my experiences using an abstract language. For a long time I have been fascinated by how a painting is made. What drives me is the challenge of using the basic principles of painting (form, line and colour) to create a painting which reflects something interesting to me.

Can you tell me something of your day-to-day practices?

I paint every day. At the moment I am working flat out for an exhibition at the end of March. I have been working mostly on a heavy fabriano paper in oils and a small number of canvases. It takes me a long time to make a painting so I tend to have a lot of work on the go at the same time.
 How long have you been working in that way?

 I try not to make drastic changes, instead I try introduce new methods, techniques or ideas gradually. I started working in this way about five years ago and it is has been about three years since I started working on paper. 

Which artists have had the greatest affect on your work?

Tomma Abts, Thomas Nozkowski, Phillip Allen, Tal R, Thomas Scheibitz, Robert Bordo, Raoul De Keyser, Ronnie Hughes, Paul Doran and Mark Swords come to mind initially. To me these artists speak a similar language influenced by the Bauhaus and geometric abstraction.  Early on as a painter I felt an affinity for this vernacular.

What outside of visual art informs your practice?

I think many things impact how I work without directly informing my practice. The space I am working in, the time of year, books, movies, TV series, everything really. If I find something interesting I will try to make a painting about it.  

How would you like people to engage with your work?

When somebody looks at my work I hope they can interpret it using their own experiences. My work has no single meaning, instead I hope the viewer will make their own associations and allow their own meaning to emerge.   

Have you seen anything recently that has made an impression?

I recently re-read an essay by Jan Verwoert ‘The Beauty and Politics of Latency: On the Work of Tomma Abts’. I reckon it is a must read for abstract painters. I am also looking forward to Paul Doran next solo show in the Green on Red Gallery in Dublin, in March.  I hope it will make an impression.

Do you have anything exciting on the horizon?

I am preparing for a one man show in MonsterTruck, Dublin opening on the 30th of March.

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