A discussion with Deborah WilliamsPosted: 23 August 2012
Deborah Williams is an artist who is based in Melbourne, Australia.
Working with intaglio printmaking, she lovingly explores the world of the canine.
Please enjoy my dialogue with Deborah about her art and interests.
Rona: Please describe your art for us.
Deborah: When I look at dogs in and around me, I question whether dogs are seen for what they are, as separate beings. I observe that while we do not objectify our dogs per se, our feelings are frequently filtered through human perspectives; these dogs are therefore anthropomorphized, brought unwittingly into our worlds.
I strive to challenge the anthropomorphizing of dogs even though I acknowledge that my work, in common with historical and contemporary contexts of the representation of dogs, is none the less filtered through my own perspectives and brought into our world.
I aim to depict the dog not as a breed above, apart or beyond, but of its own, captured in a moment.
R: Why is the dog as subject matter so special to you?
D: I did not consciously set out to make images of dogs. It just seemed to evolve organically. In 1992 I adopted a Blue Heeler x from the pound. Ruby accompanied me often to the studio and I drew her in those moments when I felt at a complete loss or creatively uninspired. This seemed to happen often.
I began to look at the dog as a potent marker for the fragility of the world we live in. And they represent the qualities we advocate but cannot sustain – unquestioning love, inner peace, inexhaustible spirit. They educate, intrigue and amuse me.
R: Who has been an inspiration to you art wise?
D: Noel Counihan. I was fortunate to grow up with his linocut print The Hunger, 1959. Counihan believed printmaking was a Socialist art form, easier to disseminate to the masses. This philosophy had a direct impact on my decision to study Printmaking and has continually inspired me. His images keep me grounded. They challenge me to keep reflecting and I believe, always will.
R: Which of your art making tools is the favourite?
D: Roulette wheels.
R: When you are working what do you listen to?
R: What is your all time favourite book, and are you currently reading anything interesting?
R: Where do you like to visit for relaxation when not making art?
D: Somewhere warm with an amazing beach and great food. If that’s not possible, walking the parks around the Merri Creek or Yarra with my dog Kish.
R: Thanks for chatting with me Deb!
If you would like to see Deborah’s work in the flesh run along to her exhibition Sense of Self at Australian Galleries, 50 Smith Street, Collingwood, VIC, 3066. The show is on now and continues until Sunday 16 September 2012.
You can also check out more of Deb’s delightful work by clicking here to visit her website.