Deborah Weir is a mixed media artist who primarily uses textiles in her work. Though contemporary in every sense, the work she does references traditional “women’s work,” slowly built up, mostly by hand, with a needle, using gentle materials – fabrics, thread, floss – in addition to more modern, edgier ones such as Tyvek, metals and found objects. Her work is detailed, often with reflective surfaces and tiny, rich elements; it does not always neatly fit typical categories but includes collage and heavily worked or embroidered surfaces as well as art quilts and weaving. She chooses from a wide range of techniques, whatever works to express her vision.
She loves the process of making, but her work is always idea driven. She works in series so she can pursue themes of importance to her. The 60,000-15,000 year-old cave paintings of northern Spain, southern France and Australia are the subject of one such series. Pomegranates, which represent fecundity and come in the most amazing colors, create an additional one. There is another about industrial detritus which is made of fabrics, rusty metal and random “junk” which sparkles and intrigues. Early human mark-making is an ever-present theme. Her series Fierce Winds explores the excitement and terror of searing winds which have been exacerbated by sudden climate change. And Confluence, a show she curated and sent to six venues over three years, considers aspects of water: its beauty, scarcity and impact. Her work in Confluence deals with the Pacific Gyre and is comprised of household plastics and other discards.
Weir’s most dramatic series to date is Chroma, 8 pieces each 50” x 80” on wooden frames which examine myriad aspects of color. It hangs in the headquarters of school on Wheels in Los Angeles, CA. Additionally, she has recently completed a 3-part series called Incarceration. It explores issues of imprisonment and is based in part on a visit to Alcatraz and study of a WWII POW camp in Hereford, TX, which led to the artistic development of Arturo Burri. There are quilts, “cells” on stretcher bars, and a dozen 6” square embroideries called the Keys each of which contains an antique key hidden in its surface. A new collaboration - Bent Needle Collective - is opening its first exhibit in 2019 along a new series examining the need for hope in difficult times.
As a curator, her curatorial approach is to collect the very best work on a clear theme and present a “ready to hang” exhibition. These exhibits are designed to meet the stated mission of the exhibiting venue and she works closely with the exhibition department. She has done a great deal of publicity so brings that skill to her shows.
The objective of Weir’s artwork is to awaken the mind of the viewer by means of visual seduction.
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