Delving into the idea of a stolen innocence, I sought meanings by reconnecting the emotions of my inner child through the eyes of the well traveled woman that I had become. I sublimate traumatic childhood memories, my postcolonial mixed-race background and the epiphanies of adulthood by personifying them as magical creatures in colourful exotic flora, playing with angles, flatness and depths. I explore the themes of heritage and relationships, browsing the subjects of family, identity, womanhood, love, monogamy, sexuality, the body, rebirth and freedom.

Inspired by the cutouts of Matisse and African textiles, I work with acrylic, oil, pastels, charcoal, pencils, papers, fabrics, wool, threads, nets, women’s tights, shells and pearls, on stretched large canvas, rolls of canvas and smaller pieces of paper. Sharp lines taken from the Belgian family background in architecture as well as fantasies about the Motherland represent a constant duality in my work.

Painting has been acting as a gargoyle in my spiritual journey, guarding myself from the devils of the mind. I intend to show the healing power and stillness found in rich colours and bold shapes when focusing on the unexpected beauty of life. In my paintings, nature serves as a symbol of hope and strength while dramatic collage shows personal growth and empowerment. One can find a sense of belonging through the painful process of dissecting family history in order to rebuild its own journey. 

© Tiffanie Delune