Andrew Delaney | Artist & Stylist
studio | anno domini home
“Death, so called, is a thing which makes men weep, And yet a third of life is passed in sleep.”
e: email@example.com m: 0412 104 492
a: studio 4 level 2 nicholas building 37 swanston street melbourne victoria australia 3000
biography & background
Born in the Western District of Victoria in 1966, artist Andrew Delaney moved to Melbourne in 1986 and studied for two years at the Melbourne College of Decoration. This included photography, technical and life drawing, and studies in graphics. After leaving college, Delaney worked for a decade at the retail institution Myer Melbourne, as a visual merchandiser and stylist – designing displays in fashion, homewares, craft, and cosmetics. Delaney also spent his time creating many works of photography and painting.
Post his time at Myer, Delaney moved into the corporate events industry working as an art director and principal stylist for a range of clients. Sewn objects, scenic painting, finished art, renderings for presentation of floral designs, mood boards, and overseeing the completion of work in a large production warehouse, were some of the briefs he took on for clients.
In 2011 Delaney left full-time work to pursue his art opening his studio Anno Domini Home in the Nicholas Building in Melbourne’s CBD – joining a community of artisans and artists, in one of the city’s most established and beloved creative hubs. Anno Domini Home is Delaney’s workshop but also acts as a showcase of his creations and how they relate to each other. The studio brings a sense of theatre to the objects on show, becoming a destination in its own right for those seeking out something singular and a little macabre. Anno Domini Home opens six days a week and is also one of the final stops on the hidden laneway tours, for which Melbourne is well known. Delaney continues to work as a freelance stylist on photo-shoots, television commercials and corporate events. Anno Domini Home has proven to be a revelation:
Spending time in my studio has made it possible to hone and explore new skills. Initially I only focused on painting, conveying emotion through my brush. In time I began to experiment with other media and became aware that objects and textiles could also be used to portray emotion.
Using vintage and unwanted fabrics I explore the notion of life’s vulnerabilities and our mortality. Layers of fabric become flesh and bone, muscles and sinew. Visitors to “Anno Domini Home” then overlay their own stories and emotions – my creations take on new meaning through this interaction.
Upon Anno Domini Home’s inception, Delaney wrote a declaration for those coming to call at his studio. After countless works conceived and unleashed it remains the raison d'être for his work. The sentiment is echoed in each piece he creates, and draws the observer to the same conclusions, all through the sensory comfort of textiles:
... what I hope to do and share is my love of things that some may consider morbid or a little dark. Beautiful things surround us, but not everything has to be pretty and bright to possess its splendour. The glimmering of dust on a torn book jacket, rising damp unfurling its way across a bedroom wall, cobwebs draped upon a long abandoned toy – all tell us that time is moving on and the glory days of our youth are indeed behind us.
Darker things tend to stop people, but rather than contemplate ‘graven’ images or objects, they hurriedly turn away and refuse to face them. I'm talking about death and the end of life of course. Most of the world celebrates death, glorifies it. The most important artworks all allude to it. Whether it's portraiture or iconic deities, cameo's or something more personal, they all evoke someone dear and long past. These “Memento Mori” serve as a constant reminder of how wonderful a person’s life is and that their departure does not mean they will not live on – in our hearts and in our memories they remain eternal.
The Victorians developed the art of mourning into a very fine business indeed – a year of dressing in black, would then surrender to garments tinted purple. They showed reverence for their dead by creating and following rituals of remembrance. The advent of photography captured the last image of a loved one, the huge market in jewellery and keepsakes, death masks, memorials and statues – all these beautiful things – somehow brought comfort and reassurance, of loved ones past, for those left behind. They feared not only losing someone, but worse still forgetting what they looked like, the colour of their hair or what they felt like to touch. Their practices of bereavement allowed them comfort when contemplating their dead and their own mortality. Welcome to my “Memento Mori”.