All images on this site copyright © Chelle Delaney
Chelle Delaney, Artist Statement
For me it begins with the foundlings – a moniker I've reinterpreted for found images lost in the rushes.
I love driving and wandering through the landscape and finding images that voluntarily offer themselves up from the natural and manmade environments. My concentration and distillation of these elements are what I believe are imprinted in memory. These imprints range from the odd juxtaposition to the graphic to the painterly that are captured in memory and reshaped through time.
Closer investigation of these sites often yields new imprints such as the ongoing Wall to Wall project. I approach walls, as a painter would a canvas, exploring and discovering each one's texture, patterns, color and what impressions have been made by humans hands.
My road journeys have also lead me to the agave, an area of exploration to exploit an idea to its fullest ... to capture the shape, color and energy of these plants through their full evolutionary cycle from bud to sere death and beyond. A perennial succulent, the blue agave rosette, in particular, after years of growth eventually begins to flower when its mast bursts skyward, up to 30 feet, and its death begins. The fleshy leaves of the dying agave display a luscious, velvety, inner feminine texture. Within its leafy folds, headfast against the rising stalk, the agave reveals colors that blend, meld and change daily from the lively hues of the tropics, to the reds and blacks of hot coals and charcoal to the browns and tans of dry desert lands. While it photographs as soft and pliable, the actual agave has an extraordinary power to maintain its integrity and resist violation.
My work has taught me to abandon word and explanation for the image and presentation, that are ideas, passions, and memories themselves.
“Say it, no ideas but in things –
nothing but the blank faces of the houses
and cylindrical trees
bent, forked by preconception and accident–
split, furrowed, creased, mottled, stained–
secret – into the body of the light!”
from Book 1Paterson by William Carlos Williams