- Delaine Le Bas
Le Bas asks what are little girls made of as she twists
and collages her female subjects, disrupting and adding layer upon
layer of meaning. Dont be fooled by appearances, take
a closer look, laugh, be disgusted, like it, hate it but stop being
one of the sheep.
Delaine is a celebrated Outsider artist, she was in Dead or Alive
at James Coleman and
Scritch Scratch at Transition
Where did you
grow up? Worthing, West Sussex
Is there a new Girly sensibility in Art?
A lot of work is passing as Girly when actually it is
sensationalist in its nature. It is really important not to confuse
What star sign are you? Cancer
What influences and inspires you?
Anything and everything. For instance, looking out of my back window
at the garden sheds, plants, gnomes. Walking past a wall with grafitti,
a bag of discarded clothes; whats their story, who did they
belong to? Crossing the railway bridge, noticing the dog shit, Anarchy
signs and rubbish. Hearing Elvis coming out of the window of a passing
Is it important or irrelevant for women artists to engage with the
art world on a political level?
Althogh I have strong opinions on the politics of the Art World
I refuse to be contaminated by it.
Is your work particularly female or feminine?
My work probably comes over as being very female and feminine because
of my use of materials and techniques (fabric, sewing, lots of sequins,
dolls etc) But historically working with these materials has not
been specifically a female domain. Maybe Im drawing people
in by the prettiness of the work only for them to see that nothing
is quite as it seems.
Do you think little girls are made of sugar and spice and all things
Its the same as little girls should be seen and not
heard well we all know what Polystyrene had to say about that
- Oh bondage Up yours. Im not sure where nursery
rhymes as such came into being but they are in a similar vein and
project a similar image. I remember being small and trying to get
my little brothers and sister to eat mud pies, playing football,
pretending to be in Star Wars but wanting to be an Action hero.
I thought what was the big idea about girls toys and boys
toys - arent they just all toys. There are differences of
course and it is a differnt perspective on things but I hardly think
that girls are all sugar and spice and all things nice. There are
plenty of women in history that do not fit the picture and would
definately equal their male counterparts for evil and wrongdoing
and there are men who have shown compassion and understanding equal
to the most caring women. Trying not to be a stereotype of any form
is the important issue and remembering that none of us can have
our cake and eat it. without worrying about being politically correct
the most important thing is to be true to ones self and stop being
one of the sheep. Personally I love dressing in a great frock, but
after about half an hour in my high heels, which I adore and have
a huge collection of I always have to resort to comfort footwear
(usually my converse), and who cares because I dont, Ive
both appealed to my vanity and known what my physical limitations
are. It suits me fine and if more of us just did exactly that maybe
the world would be a better place for both girls and boys. Remember
that Action Man is a Doll!
appears in the Feb 2004 issue of Arty