A vision in words and images

Paul Delaney

MIXED media artist Paul Delaney’s solo exhibition ‘Hypographic’ is Cork Vision Centre’s first event of 2014.

The images are hand finished digital prints in vivid colours combining abstracted portraits, text and collage detail. Delaney has played with the installation of the exhibition, using vinyl graphics on the walls.

“I was always quite right-brained,” says Delaney, who was making art while still in secondary school in West Cork. “I’d intended going the art college route but literally at the last second I changed my mind and decided to study graphic design. I just wanted to go a completely different route. I was computer illiterate so I figured studying something like that would take me in a whole new direction. I was also interested in writing and words and that area of graphic design intrigues me as well.”

Text is used in various ways in all of Delaney’s imagery. Delaney writes poetry as part of his work. The title, ‘Hypographic’, is a word he invented to describe the poem that inspired the show.

“I write just for myself,” he says. “I compare it to a musician who’d naturally write about things that pop into his head. Where musicians would create music, I create visuals.”

The poem explores the challenge in following the creative path. “The whole piece is loosely about self-reliance and following your heart, because in this day and age it seems quite difficult and you have to be quite courageous to go your own route.

“That’s what a lot of the work is based on. Stemming from that, it branches into identity and what we’re thinking inside.”

Delaney admits he finds it hard to sit still, and runs several times a week to clear his head. As well as producing a high output of artwork, he also has a day job as a graphic designer for a Cork company, where he works to the demands of clients. One of his more unusual jobs was to illustrate Rhymes for Remedies, a nursery rhyme book to guide and advise parents of young kids on how to administer homeopathic remedies.

Delaney’s work has been exhibited in Cork, London and Seattle, and earlier this year he had a solo exhibition in Oxford. “I think I’ve carved out quite an identifiable style now,” he says. “I used to fear putting text on canvas but now I don’t, because the imagery is so based on words I go with it.”

Women are heavily featured, something only noticed by Delaney when standing back to look at the whole body of work. Delaney admits to an intrigue with the fairer sex, perhaps from growing up in a home without sisters.

The conflicting nature of women is one of the themes of the show. “There has to be this toughness but there has to be this vulnerability as well. Personally, that’s one of the thing I like to depict in my images, how people have to present themselves in a very tough way now, but we also have that vulnerability. I’m always happy with a piece when I think I’ve captured that. If you have a proper look at the works, even though they’re so graphic, there is also a vulnerability.”

* Hypographic runs at Cork Vision Centre from Jan 4-30


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