A multidisciplinary visual artist whose career ranges from installation art to social practice art. Debra's projects reflect her study of persistent social and moral issues.
Studies in sculpture, archaeology, anthropology and environmental design and participatory design have underpinned a practice that includes concept designs and pilot projects for institutions, industry, and the private sector as vehicles to spur dialogue and further inquiry (in collaboration with scientists, scholars, poets, planners, architects, technicians and craftsmen). Early training in drawing artefacts as a tool for analysis and drafting visual directives for materialising space have sustained her work as a visual artist.
Debra's studio pursuits employ materials and processes of 2D representation and reproduction, from manual to mechanical to digital.
When they result in thematic installations, components are assembled into a visual narrative reflecting a course of study developed through drawing, printmaking, and most recently, sgraffito on repurposed plastic substrates. The media range from photomechanical matrices (film, stencils, silkscreen) to video projections, to pigment prints. Their composition, even partial, represents themes of layering, recursion and analogy, generation and erasure.
The properties of the materials, the techniques of production, the incorporation of a venue’s architectural features emphasise an interplay of strata, using perspective, context, scale, pattern, and texture to suggest a narrative space that might embed the visitor in a transitional state, that might elicit another moral reality.
"Rather than a statement, [her work] is a permanent questioning. Rather than an object, it's an ongoing process." (Orsola Casagrande)