Creating from her own imagination, dreams and memories, Tiffanie Delune invites us into new territories crafted in her signature blend of warm colours, layered textures, abstract shapes and biomorphic sensual forms overlaid with talismanic pictorial signs.
Tiffanie Delune, There’s Gasoline In My Heart (Detail). Courtesy the artist.
‘There’s Gasoline In My Heart’ is a playful and thoughtful invitation to reflect on love, desire and our engagement with nature and the universe. Taking its inspiration from animism and its belief that all things, places and creatures possess a distinct soul, ‘There’s Gasoline In My Heart brings to life otherworldly bodies stamped with the magic of tarot symbols, evolving in lush forests and cosmic mappings – spirited sceneries at the intersection of lucid dreams and reality. In Delune’s universe, everything hangs in a delicate balance, never more so than in Tender, where a suspended body seems to dance, float or fall, depending on how you look at it. Some of the artist’s works like this one can be hung one way or the other, bringing forth new unseen perspectives which challenge our very sense of perception. The playfulness of the artist is exchanged with the viewer, daring us to follow in her steps.
Like Tiffanie Delune’s complex web of mixed origins, her visual language transcends cultural and physical boundaries. Her personal animism is rooted in the magical and archaic world of childhood populated with complex and at times painful personal and collective memories. Like in animism, Delune’s productions operate both as a tribute to these mnemonic ghosts which are revisited and transformed, as well as a protection against them. Each tableau manages to be delicate and intimate, yet bold and resilient at the same time. Protection symbols reinforce the message in a colourful and whimsical way. The diamond shapes we see in many works index harmony, stability and oneness, a sort of foundational unity. The ubiquitous circular motifs – balls, bubbles, moons and dots – represent notion of self, wholeness but also of cycle and renewal. Their careful composition within the frame brings about a sense of fragile equilibrium. Like an existential juggling act. These circles are sometimes connected to cosmic constellations as in Carry Me Home, reminding us of our interconnectedness and place in the universe. Through her work, the artist questions our connection to ourselves, nature and others.
In Tiffanie Delune’s work, there is an undeniable childlike sense of play by experimenting without limitation. Whether it’s decoupage and paper cuts, collage, playing with glitter, sewing threads or layering a warm and sensual palette of acrylic and pastels on cotton canvas with delicate inks and pencils. This art play recalls the artist’s own experiences with art as a child, more focussed on the pleasure of making things with whatever was available, than with any predetermined idea of representation. Or high art. This joy of “making things” combined with a determination to make us wonder and question ourselves is still very much driving the artist’s process today, now working from her new Lisbon studio, filled with a warm southern light where all but one of the works presented were produced.
At times erotic and blurry (Emotions Of Abstraction), adventurous and utopian (Room For Desire), spiritual and connected (Carry Me Home) or daring and mischievous (There’s Gasoline In My Heart), Delune celebrates the unique beauty and intimidating power of love and organic life with renewed hope and tenderness.
With drawings and images of maps, constellations, seascapes but also anatomy, circus and astrology as a starting point, some of the works fall in full abstraction (Make My Heart Grow and Wake Up, Wake Up, Let’s Play…) or invite a singular figure to dance with its environment (Tender and No Path To Follow), bringing us back to the enchanting, fearless and curious omnipotence of childhood. There’s Gasoline In My Heart is the large central piece of the show, one of the few works by the artist representing a couple. A powerful composition full of organic energy and seduction, a tribute to desire. In the unique work on linen of the show (Nothing’s Foreign About You), presented hanging loose with a train, reminiscent of a protective net or a wedding dress, the artist marries the flora and animal life with symbols of mathematics and music, signing her own subtle pattern between harmony and camouflage.
Her first solo in Switzerland in collaboration with Ed Cross Fine Art, London. The exhibition will be on view from the 7th of May until the 2nd of July 2022. For more information, please visit Foreign Agent.