Souvenir of the Discoverer – Delnara El

Aquarell auf Papier 70x103cm

The idea for this painting came to me back in October 2021. It took almost six months to complete. Even then, the picture had many meanings, and now it has acquired even new meanings.
When I first went to tropical countries, it struck me that our houseplants (so often stunted and fragile) are an ordinary and very exuberant part of the everyday landscape there.
But even in Bali, in hipster coffee shops, as well as all over the world, there will still be a monstera or other tropical plant in a pot.
This „fashion“ had its own history associated with the era of „geographical discoveries“.
But what if the east „discovered“ the west, and not vice versa? Would there be conditional dandelions in all coffee shops?
Would this affect the very notion of „beautiful“ flowers?
For work, it was no coincidence that I chose handmade paper (density 600). It’s funny that they make it in India, but Britain exports it. In India itself, this paper is quite difficult to buy and it is not in demand there.

The painting also references Magritte’s work in the form of a window frame.
Understanding our place in the world around us is formed precisely thanks to vision. We explain the world with words, but words cannot do anything about the fact that we are surrounded by this world. The relationship between what we see and what we know remains fluid. Rene Magritte played on this discrepancy between word and image in the painting „The Key to Dreams“.
For me, this work is also a reflection of my life on a journey of 8 years. About two covid years without favorite tropics. About the „home“ that is always with me.

I started painting it even before the war, and now, of course, longing for my native land is also read in it (I am from Ukraine). A certain alienation and being taken out of context, which has become familiar. And which so many people, my friends and relatives are now experiencing …

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