Africa’s mighty baobab trees have an allure for many people; their gigantic size and presence inspire artists and poets, their shade provides shelter for villagers, their fruit and bark edible, especially important in times of drought. Some specimens are estimated to be thousands of years old, although no-one really knows, adding to their sense of mystery.
The artist travelled through Mozambique, Limpopo province in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana making sketches of baobabs. During the process he discovered that his grandfather had a similar interest, photographing the trees in then Southern Rhodesia. Some of these old photographs became the basis for works shown here.
Delaney has used a combination of materials to present baobabs in different ways, including lithograph, charcoal, pencil, paint and monotype. The earlier works are more literal and look at the canopy, boughs and bark, while later works explore details, abstraction and fable.
The lithographs were produced in collaboration with Mark Atwood and Joe Leshoka LeGate at The Artists’ Press in White River, in editions of 20 each. The monotypes were made in the same studio, and the psychedelic series at RBPW in New York.