Jonathan Delafield Cook
Born in London (1965) and trained as an architectural draughtsman in Japan, Jonathan Delafield Cook has today exhibited globally to significant acclaim. In England, the artist received the Darwin Scholarship at the Royal College of Art, consecrating his unwavering interest in the natural world around him. It is unlikely however that this formal education can be divorced from the early exposure Delafield Cook enjoyed, to the creative legacy that he was born into. Son and great-grandson to influential painters William (Bill) Delafield Cook and William Delafield Cook (Snr), his exceptional dexterity and unique way of seeing was potentially preordained.
Jonathan Delafield Cook is celebrated for his exquisitely rendered charcoal drawings on primed linen and paper. Depicted to-scale or larger, his diverse subjects (whether animals, plants, icebergs or minerals) find themselves preserved in marvellous detail. At first glance, we view these works with the kind of taxonomic obsession that led to long histories of specimen collection for museological research and display. We look longer and find ourselves enchanted by the steely glint of their perfect surfaces, and by every felt mark that was laid to unique and very particular ends. The perceived distance between science and art is narrowed by this encounter – orchestrated cleverly by Delafield Cook who laminates together the real and the wonderful with inimitable attention.