Strong visual and spiritual experiences link the development of my work to place of birth and growth in Tapini, Papua New Guinea and then Alice Springs, Central Australia. I reflect on this early family life, translating these experiences and aesthetics into generous, textured and richly glazed forms.
The physicality and scale of my forms donates presence and sensuality redolent of human associations such as growth and nurturing, and domestic or ritual reminders. Landscape acts as a facade enabling me to layer and dress the body of my forms in abstract or metaphoric ways.
Mark making or carved patterning is used to echo my experience with environment and the materiality of Indigenous cultures. From Papua New Guinea I am reminded of the woven basket that I lay in as a baby, grass skirts, shell and dog teeth necklaces, pig tusks, triangular patterning of huts and the denseness of the highland flora. Central Australia reminds me of man made interruptions alongside the spirituality of the landscape, for example wire fences, train tracks and rusted metal next to gum trees; red sand; spinifex; gaps; water holes and mountain ranges.
My work is made with a combination of slab and coil hand-building into moulds, or is thrown on the wheel with hand-built manipulations. The surface is carved, slipped or inlayed and has multiple glazes applied through painting and spraying.
In my search for identity I play with the idea that nature and spirit are strongly connected and have influence over the other in understanding self. Childhood memories are precious, they make us who we are today and link us to tomorrow.
Like Debra's work? You can buy a gift card!
Like Debra's work? You can buy a gift card!
I was born in Papua New Guinea in 1975 and lived in the highlands of Tapini for the first few years of my life. I was the third born of six children. Our family then moved to Central Australia where I spent the rest of my childhood and adolescent years. Much of the work I produce now is developed from the experiences and memories I have of this time. I started studying Visual Arts - Painting and Drawing, at the Alice Springs TAFE. After this my travels enabled me to pursue a Painting and Ceramic degree through a number of universities including the Australian National University, ACT; Latrobe University, Bendigo; Northern Territory University, Alice Springs; and finally I completed my Bachelor of Visual Arts in Ceramics at the Australian National University School of Art.
After university I began working in my studio at Strathnairn Homestead, ACT for a couple of years. I involved myself in numerous exhibitions locally and interstate, winning a couple of awards along the way. During this time I picked up work teaching pottery through various community art organisations.
Today I focus on working in my Queanbeyan, NSW studio where I am constantly developing and refining new work.
|2010:||LINK, Sabbia Gallery - Sydney|
|2010:||Vessel, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre - Canberra|
|2010:||Conjunction, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre - Canberra|
|2010:||2010 Members' Exhibition, Canberra Potters' Society - Canberra|
|2009:||Crucible, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre - Canberra|
|2009:||Townsville Ceramic Art Award, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery - Townsville, QLD|
|2009:||Annual Members Exhibit, Canberra Potters' Society - Canberra|
|2008:||Interior Exterior, Accredited Professional Members' Exhibition, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre - Canberra|
|2008:||26th Gold Coast International Ceramic Art Award, Gold Coast City Art Gallery - Gold Coast, QLD|
|2008:||Ignition, Alexander Park Conference Centre - Sunshine Coast, QLD|
|2008:||Queanbeyan art, The Q Performing Arts Centre and Gallery - Queanbeyan, NSW|
|2008:||Art Unlimited, Fairview Artspace - Mudgee, NSW|
|2006:||World Women on the Horizon, Baltimore Clayworks Gallery - Baltimore, USA|
|2006:||25th Gold Coast International Ceramic Art Award, Gold Coast City Art Gallery - Gold Coast, QLD|
|2006:||Exhibition, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre, Canberra Centre Showcase - Canberra|
|2006:||Impact, Verge Ceramic Conference, Watling Galleries - Gold Coast, QLD|
|2006:||Tea Bowls, Sabbia Gallery - Sydney|
|2006:||A Spring Adventure, Cudgegong Gallery - Gulgong, NSW|
|2006:||Amalgamate, Canberra Potters' Society - Canberra|
|2005:||29th Alice Craft Acquisition, Araluen Gallery - Alice Springs, NT|
|2005:||Impulses, Ceramic Art Gallery - Paddington, NSW|
|2005:||Ardore, Sabbia Gallery - Sydney|
|2005:||Art Aid, Australian Natational Capital Artists Gallery - Canberra|
|2005:||Cowra Festival Art Award, Cowra Regional Art Gallery - Cowra, NSW|
|2005:||Muswellbrook Ceramic Award, Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre - Muswellbrook, NSW|
|2005:||Geolithoral, Mawson Gallery - Canberra|
|2005:||Strathnairn Studio Ceramics, Australian National University School of Art Foyer Gallery - Canberra|
|2004:||Layers, The Library, University of NSW, Australian Defence Force Academy - Canberra|
|2004:||Versions x6, Tuggeranong Art Centre Gallery - Canberra|
|2004:||Port Hacking Potters Group Exhibition, Hazelhurst Art Centre - Hazelhurst, NSW|
|2004:||Identity, Raglan Gallery - Cooma, NSW|
|2004:||Cowra Festival Art Award, Cowra Regional Art Gallery - Cowra, NSW|
|2004:||Stanthorpe Art Festival, Stanthorpe Art Gallery - Stanthorpe, QLD|
|2010:||artsACT Project Funding Grant|
|2010:||Northcote Pottery Merit Award, Canberra Potters' Society Annual Members' Exhibition|
|2009:||Northcote Pottery Award, Canberra Potters' Society Annual Members' Exhibition|
|2006:||Australian Ceramic Art Directory Award, Canberra Potters' Society Annual Members Exhibition|
|2006:||Visual and Craft Artists Grant, National Association for the Visual Arts|
|2005:||29th Alice Craft Acquisition Award, Araluen Gallery Acquisition Award|
|2004:||Doug Alexander Premier Award, Canberra Potters' Society Annual Members Exhibition|
|2004:||Open Wheel Thrown Award, Port Hacking, Hazelhurst Arts Centre|
|2004:||artsACT Quick Response Grant, Solo Show, Raglan Gallery, Cooma|
|2003:||Raglan Gallery Exhibition Award, Canberra Potters' Society Annual Members Exhibition|
|2002:||Emerging Artists Support Scheme Walker Ceramics Award of Excellence, The Australian National University School of Art|
|2002:||Emerging Artist Support Scheme Canberra Potters Society Exhibition Award, The Australian National University School of Art|
|2010:||D. Hare, Conjunction, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre|
|2006:||Queanbeyan Artists, Queanbeyan Age, June 2006|
|2006:||P. Batey, Ceramics in Spring, The Land Magazine, 7 September 2006|
|2006:||D. Grimm, Local Crafts up with Leaders, Alice Springs Centralian Advocate Newspaper, May 2006|
|2006:||L. Watts, A Spring Adventure, Ceramic Art and Perception, No. 65|
|2005:||J. Doyle, from baroque canteens to evanescent landscapes, The Journal of Australian Ceramics, Volume 44, No. 1|
|2005:||S. Menzies and F. Alexander, Versions of Expression, The Journal of Australian Ceramics, Volume 44, No. 1|
|2005:||A. Grigson, Impulses in Australian Ceramic Art, Ceramics Art and Perception, No. 59|
|2004:||M. Hinchliffe, Subtle melted and pale glazes, The Canberra Times, 17 December 2004|