Artist of the Week - DEBORAH ZIBAH

Moody Blue in situ

To my amazement, and everyone else’s, I discovered I could draw and paint whilst in my first year in high school, way back in the 70’s, in Zimbabwe, Africa, where my family and I originated from. Being the school’s biggest rebel and wild child, no-one thought I would ever amount to much and consequently, was labelled as such.

This new discovery eventually lead me to the art department of advertising agencies once I left school, but it was only until 2003 when I graduated from ECU, Mt. Lawly, Perth with a bachelors degree in the visual arts, that my dream of becoming a recognised, professional artist became a very real possibility. My. My very first solo exhibition, held in Dwellingup, WA, 2004 launched my career as an abstract artist. Once I realised I had no affinity for the corporate 9 to 5 world, my decision to follow my deep desire to make art was a completely natural one. On our arrival in Australia, 1988, my friends began employing me to paint murals in their children’s bedrooms, and eventually, I started my own AMAZING MURALS business, which I still currently run.

I became involved in group exhibitions in Perth and the Peel region galleries regularly from that time and exhibited in solo shows every year, some of those being with A&A Gallery, Boranup Gallery, Studio 281, CASM, Alcoa Art Gallery, Mandurah, and Arq Designs. I’ve entered into the Mandjar Art Award, Bussleton Art Award, Perth Royal Show, Cossack Art Award, Vivid Art Collective Art Award as well as the plein air festival competition held annually at the Crab Fest, Mandurah.

For me, art is just an extension of myself, it’s my soul, my desire, my passion, my whole being. The layering of paint, mediums and textures in my work is a reflection of my personality and what I love, am driven to do. I find I’m excited when I see sunlight dancing through droplets of rain balancing on fonds of the grass tree or the stained, discoloured pavements and all the myriad designs nature has to offer. Being a process artist, my focus is on surface, strong, gestural movement and applying reactive materials to the substrate which create their own nuances and carve their unique characteristics into the painting. Using grass tree resin is one of my favourite materials.

The works of Franz Klein, James Brooks, Richard Diebencorn, Jylian Guston, Peter Pharoah, Peter Wileman are my inspiration.

At the completion of an extensive commission for the new Sebel Hotel, Madurah, 2009, the work I had developed specially for this project, the ‘Estuary Series’, lead into creating many custom paintings for buoyant interior design markets.

In April 2015 my daughter tragically died. Shaken to the core, my confidence and creativity took a major hit. I joined the local plein air group to begin painting again and have been an active member ever since. My goal, now, is to create large scale, abstracted works from my small, plein air studies and exhibit these new works in notable galleries locally, nationally and online interationally. I have a renewed zest for life and am feeling positive and excited for what the future holds for me in my art practice.


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