Deborah is a Tauranga based Artist who attended the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and graduated ‘joint top student’ from the Diploma in Art Programme in 2012.
Studying in 2011 and 2012 for the Diploma in Art gave Deborah the chance to experiment with a wide range of materials and further develop and deepen her own style which until that point had been primarily in the manipulation of paint by brush onto canvas and which quickly extended to include other materials. The resulting major development was in the form of recycled tea bags which have been printed on and represented as ‘tapa’ cloths. Her piece “Sorrow and Joy” comprising teabags with a printed woodblock pattern was selected as a finalist in the 2012 Miles Art Award.
Her acrylic and oil paintings are vibrant and colourful. For the last five years Deborah has based her main art practice on used tea bags. Citing them as a captured memory and moment in time, each as beautiful as a stained glass window. She adds to these with stitch, paint and other processes to present a narrative of her interpretation of life in Aotearoa and travel abroad. Deborah prefers her work to have layers of meaning and reflect our unique ‘kiwiness’ and position of being a South Pacific nation. She spends her time between acrylic on canvas and the laborious teabag ‘tapa’ works, depending entirely on the mood of the moment.
With a swing from more realistic to the totally abstract, canvas to teabags, perhaps the only thread of commonality between many works, is the Artist, her love of colour and the thrill of viscosity as the paint lands.
Deborah is a member of the Tauranga Society of Artists and has participated in group and solo exhibitions. Her work is in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Denmark. Deborah has been a finalist in the Anthony Harper Award (2009), Waikato River Art Award (2013) and Molly Morpeth Canaday Award (2014), and the Miles Art Award (2012, 2016).