This is a guest post from UK-based, Tokyo-born illustrator Jo Fallon.
London based Artist and Illustrator Jon Delgado, uniquely uses bleach and ink to create his beautiful, almost luminescent work which preserve fond memories of his childhood in Essex.
Recently turning his attention to working from antique photographs, the soft edges that are created through bleach cutting through ink create a suitably dreamlike image of a moment where the fine details may have been forgotten, but the memory remains.
Having known Jon from University and always been intrigued by his unique choice of materials, I decided to take the opportunity to find out more about how his work has developed since. I hope you find his work and process as fascinating as I do!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from many sources – family photographs, video stills, found imagery and other ephemera. I’ve also been seeking out unusual images from antiques fairs and postcard sales, analysing what makes these images compelling and highly evocative despite them not representing personally remembered events.
When did you first start using bleach as a material?
I started using bleach on my foundation course. I found an old piece of brown packaging paper, which had decayed and turned translucent – like a decaying leaf. I went home and tried to recreate the process, looking for materials that would alter the paper. It was a bit like in George’s Marvelous Medicine, as I raided the cupboards in my search. I didn’t succeed in replicating the effect, but bleach was one of the first materials I picked up.
What attracted you most to the materials that you work with?
I loved the luminosity bleach created, and the hidden colours that would develop by using it. Dye and ink colours are intense, vibrant and idiosyncratic. The medium is natural and pure in its pigmented form. There’s a framework within colour scales, but also an element of chance and unpredictability with this process. I’ve also recently started using natural inks, returning to nature’s source of green hues from nettles and fir trees, and purple pigments from elderflowers – in attempt to gain true colour.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m always conducting experiments, manipulating film and making paint studies. I was recently given an old Polaroid camera, and was intrigued by the abstract forms that developed on the expired film when taking pictures – the shots looked like works of Colour Field painters. I’m working with compositions in Photoshop, and looking into making paintings using two colours (I normally work with a single hue), but without mixing them.