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Delphine Lebourgeois is Over the Cover

Strange, quirky and beautiful things happen at the Frameless Gallery.

Written by Valerie Perezon

Charlotte by Delphine Lebourgois
Charlotte by Delphine Lebourgois.

Last Thursday I made my way to the Frameless Gallery to meet up with illustrator Delphine Lebourgeois. I have admired Delphine’s work for some time now and interviewed her for this very magazine over a year ago.

Delphine Lebourgois
Delphine Lebourgois.

With Delphine and I, pills it’s a curious case of strange coincidences. We both are French and moved to this country the very same year – 1998. We studied illustration with both graduating in 2005, viagra order me from Kingston university, cheapest Delphine from Central Saint Martins. To complete the freaky set of remarkable happening, we have both lived in the same neighbourhood for years and might have even crossed path without even knowing it!

Genealogie by Delphine Lebourgois
Genealogie by Delphine Lebourgois.

Camberwell Green is a good location to set up shop even if temporarily. Lebourgeois’ last show at the Coningsby Gallery, even though a success, did not have Camberwell’s regular traffic of savvy art enthusiasts. The show is on two floors and with Delphine acting as my guide, I meander around what turns out to be a series of large prints of book cover illustrations elegantly framed. This illustrator is used to producing for the publishing sector under the strict constraints of commercial deadlines. It was apparently a welcome contrast to work in a more relaxed way.

20,000 Lieues by Delphine Lebourgois
20,000 Lieues by Delphine Lebourgois.

“Most of these images are constructed over weeks even months, until a global architecture emerges. The images change continuously, inform each other…I add or remove layers, and even swap them from one picture to the next until a harmony is reached.” I know exactly what Delphine means! Illustrators need to have that time to nurture their inner artist. I’ve been doing just the same putting the finishing touches to my illustrated book. We both concur the simmering time to be of utmost importance.

Delphine LebourgoisPeau de Chagrin by Delphine Lebourgois
Peau de Chagrin by Delphine Lebourgois.

I found Delphine’s way of working so puzzling as fundamentally different from mine. For me the concept, the idea is most important and will then dictate what material I will use even if I do have more or less a preferred style. For Delphine the basis of her images is the physical process; here the typographic cover of an existing book, onto which she superimposes her own drawings and printed material using digital collage as her main media.

Le Moulin de la Galette by Delphine Lebourgois
Le Moulin de la Galette by Delphine Lebourgois.

Lebourgois’ illustrations always strike me for their surrealist subtext. The choice of book is of no importance; “I decided to work from titles only, ignoring the narrative, and to focus on the complementarities between the imagery and the title itself, creating another story altogether”. The result is a set of covers as exquisitely quirky as Delphine herself.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Delphine Lebourgeois
Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Delphine Lebourgeois.

Robinsona Krusoa by Delphine Lebourgeois
Robinsona Krusoa by Delphine Lebourgeois.

You can see more of Delphine’s work on her website, and at Frameless Gallery until 13th March.


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