Printmaker and Painter
Visiting Artist Talk at Chisholm TAFE
Deborah started her talk today by admitting that she began as an artist by default, even though she had drawn a lot in her youth (a lot of horses with I could relate to), she said that she was not sure what to study as she approached tertiary institutions. She was initially going to study psychology but that subject really didn’t catch her interest and it was through a friend that she was introduced to the idea of studying art. Very late for applications she was told to keep trying which she did with gusto, calling every day until she was accepted into the TOP year at Box Hill. TOP was a one year course to introduce students to tertiary studies. This along with four drawing classes a week as a result of being told her drawing skills needed improving led her to Prahran, where she specialised in printmaking – influenced by the print her parent had hanging in their home and the motto that prints are for the masses who can not afford other types of artworks. She later went on to do her Masters at RMIT and her Dip. Ed.
Whilst studying Deborah produced her pub series of prints, combining her social life with her work. Afterwards her work has since centred around her love of dogs. She has used their symbol as a way of making social statements about politics and has others that are expressing her feelings about the treatment of animals.
Deborah has volunteered in Bali where the dog population running around without homes has been a problem for many years. She went on to outback communities to document the relationship between people and dogs in these circumstances.
Sometimes funny, sometimes thought provoking her simplification of the shape and form of the dog, seen from the human point of view and also that of the dogs themselves creates pattern and shape that is very interesting. Deborah’s liking for marking and scratching her print plates prior to creation of an image, allows her to work freely without the intimidation of that clean white space that sometimes puts painters off starting a work. These left over marks often work in with her completed image helping to seat them into the space and make the negative areas around the image work with it and sometimes lead the eye around the space. With this attitude to her work any “mistakes” can be embraced as part of the creative process and not mourned over. Her use of tools such as an angle grinder for her plates was interesting as well as learning about some tools that we hadn’t heard of before.
Deborah brought a few copper plates and some of her tools with her, so it was good to see these IRL, especially the ones we were not familiar with.
Deborah’s genuine interest in her creative process, her love of animals and dedication to volunteer work can out very clearly as she spoke. She obviously enjoys her work, giving back to the community and teaching what she has learnt.
She is a good example of taking your passion and making it a basis of a successful and enjoyable career. I rather enjoyed her chat.