Situated in tenderness, Delilah Sykes examines the metaphysical by grounding it in the mundane. Her text based practice is situated in a tradition of conceptual art, allowing written work to exist as artefacts rather than literary conceptions. This underpins them with an unconventional sense of narrative that often uses lists and rules as a framework to suggest poetic alternatives to pre-existing perspectives of the world.
Her work engages in a practice of gathering in order to stage moments of reflection and intimacy. As an artist who predominantly uses text as a medium, this often expands into assemblages that combine text with a magpie’s eye for objects. These collections are presented with a light touch and minimal staging. Sound is also a fascination of her practice, exploring this subject while referencing academic and cultural history, then re-contextualising this within human perspectives.
Sykes’ work plays with auto-fiction, as well as engaging with the role of artist as performer. Though her projects are personal, they evoke universal human experiences. Her work has a quiet urgency to it. The gathering of experiences, phenomena, situations, is an act that suggests the need to save such tender fragments from a world of functionality in which they may be trampled on.
Ten Shells from the North Yorkshire Coast Ordered by Acoustic Scale, No. 3, work in progress, 2022. Photographic Scan.