Hugh Delap, 10-09, oil on canvas on board, 42 x 55 cm , image courtesy the Talbot Gallery.
Palimpsest, Hugh Delap’s solo exhibition currently on show at the Talbot Gallery, immediately projects the artist’s concern with colour. Upon entering the gallery space the viewer is met with a series of boldly, and predominantly brightly painted images where abstract shapes hover in their chosen settings. Although not blatantly representative of any objects familiar in our world, the artist does take images and events from his experiences and transfers them to paper in the form of drawings that subsequently influence the paintings. The subject matter of these images, however, takes a back seat when juxtaposed with with the process involved in their making, and the materiality of the works.
What emerges, particularly, is Delap’s decision to leave exposed, rather than cover, the progression of the painterly process. What appears from a distance to be brightly coloured objects set against solid backgrounds becomes, upon closer inspection, bold shapes protruding in the final layer, their predecessors still visible in earlier layers and at times only roughly covered over.
Hugh Delap, 19-10, oil on paper, 42 x 55 cm, 2010, image courtesy the Talbot Gallery.