Delia A. Prodan

Having graduated from the National University of Arts Bucharest, the practice of Delia Prodan (born in 1997) revolves around photography and writing. She works primarily with objects and books and she is interested in simple, but intimate elements, as well as in the stories and feelings they reveal. 

More about Delia’s artistic profile on Instagram.

Q&A with Delia Andrada Prodan

When did you discover your passion for art and what does art mean to you?

I find it hard to pinpoint that exact moment when I became aware of my own desire to create…I’ll describe it as an almost playful, mischievous restlessness. However (though I believe in this restlessness as being common to us all – regardless of our circumstances), creativity is to me just one of the necessary things needed in the process of “making art”; a certain sense of responsibility and a lot of self-awareness should also be present.

At 18, I decided to run away to London to study philosophy and literature, out of concern that: I didn’t know what I actually wanted to communicate. Intuitively, I realised that I needed to grow up a bit. A few years later, after a series of entanglements and misjudgements, I understood that the things I wanted to talk about were the ones closest to me.

Describe yourself briefly: what triggers your emotions or what makes you angry?

The first medium I became drawn to, photography, taught me to how observe. “Observing” is in itself quite a meditative act, one in which you have to be detached… therefore, I constantly need moments of stillness, where I can pay attention to what is around me. I like to find by chance, to stumble upon something – especially when it comes to things or places that are familiar to me, to vernacular images. I use the word “vernacular” both metaphorically and hands on, referring to physical images – from the family archive, for example.

Balance is also essential, I tend towards it. This is why I associate moments of solitude with moments of connection, of dialogue with the people that are dear to me (my works are, in fact, always about people, even if their presence is only fathomable).

Describe your artistic vision: sources of inspiration, techniques, messages you want to communicate to audiences.

The points that appear again and again in the way I construct my works are connected to a certain type of fragility, to rather banal objects that do not seem vulnerable or emotional at first glance, but that still accumulate memory and become symbols. From unfinished houses, to bits of stone and iron, to cracks in the walls: I am fascinated by remains and fragmentation, by that “in between”. As a method, I collect pieces and then play with them, with analogies and often text.

Who influenced you on your path and how?

Without a doubt, there has been a beautiful mark left by the various artistic and educational contexts in which I have found myself, people to whom I am grateful for guidance and trust, mentors without whom I would perhaps have been less “I”.

However, the two people whose presence and influence I cannot deny ­– beyond the obvious, are my parents. Their experiences, the social context in which I grew up (I’m referring to the working class, post Iron Curtain background) influenced the way I create. The materials I tend towards: concrete and marble are also part of this narrative, both my mother and father having worked in either construction or materials processing.

What work of art you produced you like best and what does it mean to you?

The moment I present a piece of work, it ceases to be entirely mine. To my perception other perceptions are added, of those who gaze at the piece, interact with it…my opinion is no longer primary, which is why I find it difficult to answer the question. I try to look critically at every work I do, with the intention of finding more solutions and of growing.

What moment in your career made you happy?

I don’t think there has been a particular moment yet. Every experience (exhibition, residency, scholarship, etc.) meant something to me. The one constant though, has been the privilege of doing what I love and care about.

What do you expect from Accelerator program?

I wouldn’t want to place any expectations on what the next steps will bring. So far, we’ve been offered by the mentors’ tangible advice, recounts of personal experiences – it’s not something that, in the usual process of growing, you receive so easily and openly (it’s more of a solitary struggle). I’m grateful for the encounter, for the care and trust the whole team has given us. The relationship with the other emerging artists (now friends): the dialogue, their thoughts, how they approach their own practice, has also been precious.

What other artists inspired you and why?

I’ll use a harsh word: consume. It is synonymous in the context of my own artistic practice with: seek, discover, pursue, watch, read. It is an indispensable process, and that is why there are many artists I care about. At the moment I am fascinated by some of Miroslaw Balka’s works: I recognise myself in his way of using mundane objects, simple materials, but with a specific charge and memory.

What are your future plans?

The past year has been one of self-reflection ­– a time to collect thoughts and tensions. In the months to come I wish to put into practice those ideas, to further explore materials and techniques, such as marble, terrazzo. The joy of bringing images and text together in book form remains too: I hope to soon “throw into the world” a fourth work. Once I get a bit organised, the rest will fall into place.

Work of the Artist

in Back to Where It All Began Exhibition