'Grease and Water' by Delia Baillie

'Grease and Water' by Delia Baillie

'Grease and Water' by Delia Baillie



Leith School of Art Exhibition Space 26 September 2022 - 09 December 2022 09:30 - 16:30 daily North Junction Street Campus

Opening Event with Artist Talk:

Friday 30 September 2022, 5 – 7pm

Leith School of Art, 25 North Junction Street, Edinburgh EH6 6HW

‘Imagine building a house, but not from the ground up, not from the primacy of the basement and the first line of bricks, but by first discovering the lintel above the cupboard on the second floor and the space under the bathroom sink and the topmost corner of the leftmost window. This is what painting is; and print making too. And these artforms are linear: a blank sheet of paper or canvas constitute that empty pre-build plot of land; these things must all start somewhere. And it is work – but not of the kind in which tasks are executed: all the imagined corners, walls and pathways of light planned, then concretely achieved. To make art is to find yourself on the second floor whilst trying not to bother where the ground is. Or rather, enjoying (as much as possible!) not knowing where the ground is and the horizon lines are, not knowing how far East this will go, not quite knowing when the rafters will finally roof the sky. Not knowing when this thing will be complete.

The works that Delia finds to be the most successful are the ones that surprise her most once they have arrived in their final emanation. Of course, experience tells us that we can’t over-work surfaces: paint can become tired and clogged; paper will stress under the stress of our marks, and our desires for those marks. We must simply stop and transfer our energy into other works. But in the beginning, amongst the blankness and the whatness of surfaces, Delia is conscious of the mess of her intentions, the clamjamfrie of her ideas; and her marks and strokes as they arrive, are intuited from this inchoate mess. And this is just the beginning – and now she begins to tidy up, she begins to pare back, she begins to simplify; looking for something that has not yet arrived. And once the surprise of the work is here, once the work is amongst us, there is a window that can be shared. And another window; and another. And here is the gallery wall.’

Iain Sturrock, September 2022


Delia Baillie has a studio at WASPS in Dundee. She’s also a lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design working across Masters and Undergraduate programmes in Contemporary Art Practice. Her interest in the pedagogy of practice-based art education is in combining contemporary and traditional approaches to teaching and learning.

She was elected a Royal Scottish Academician in 2008 and as the recipient of several residencies and scholarships Delia has had the opportunity to work as an artist in Shetland, Edinburgh, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, the USA and Arbroath.

Along with many years of experience working in Higher Education, Delia's involvement in numerous collaborative artist-lead (curatorial) projects stem from a desire to investigate modes of critical discourse out-with established institutions.