Artist Profile

DEBRA DAWES

WHAT ARE THE MOMENT/S WHEN ART IMPELLED YOU?

At high school I had a fabulous art teacher, Mrs Saul. She was really committed, not just in delivering the curriculum, but in what she brought to the classroom from her life. She presented as someone who was curious and did out-of-the-ordinary things. I wanted to be like her. The other moment was on my second trip away in the late 70s, on a cargo boat carrying live sheep from Perth to Singapore. It’s funny to remember it. I was on the deck of this ship with the stench of the sheep in my nostrils looking out at the moon. Whatever it was about that combination of the sheep and the moon I don’t know but it unhinged a deep longing. I said to myself, OK when you get back, you’re going to do whatever it is that you need to do, and so I did.

You have said you think of your role in art

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