The Gatherer of Gold
paintings by Delphine Alphonse
Growing up in a Caribbean family in France, I was always surrounded by women elders, especially my mother and aunts. The women remained in their realm, which was often in the kitchen. Cooking, cleaning, caring for the children, creating beautiful hairstyles, and catching up on neighborhood gossip. The men were separate from the women, in the living room, drinking punch, playing cards, and speaking about politics.
My family memories are essentially feminine, because that is what I was surrounded by. As a child, it would pain me to see that black women were underestimated and reduced to menial tasks. I couldn't understand why they accepted this lot in life.
When we left the safety of our house, we could hear people talking about us. About our "huge" noses, and our hair, "like straw."
Today I paint portraits of women to bring back lost beauty, to create spiritual icons and poetic images of divinity. Many of my portraits are inspired by the faces of my family.