Drawing underpins the work of Debbie Duffin. Through a life-long observation of rhythms and patterns in the natural world, she has developed processes in a variety of media – pencil, pastel, wire, light, photography – which encapsulate the spirit and energy of universal forces; each piece forging its own unique form through the process of its creation.
A commission for British Telecommunications using old telephone wire and electrical components opened up possibilities of working with discarded materials. Sifting through waste she collects materials which suggest a 3D version of a mark on the page. As she cuts, wraps, twists and ties, the process transcends the medium – richly textured form evolves through its making. While the materials have a beauty of their own, the work makes a subtle comment on the environmental cost of human activity. These contradictions are mirrored in her work as she uses man-made materials to create organic forms which, in the largest pieces create a relationship between the work and its host. Installations take this a step further by drawing in and engaging the audience, whose participation completes the process. These may include the use of light or slide projections (some printed as photographs) and/or actual movement created by passers by.
She has exhibited widely for over 40 years and her work is held in public, corporate and private collections in Britain, Europe and USA and has been featured in numerous publications, catalogues and books. Involved in the pioneering artistic community of ’80’s East London, she curated shows in alternative spaces, helped set up new galleries, developed innovative workshops for students and artists, lectured and wrote extensively on professional practise for artists, based on two books she wrote on exhibiting. These were funded by the Arts Council, were sold internationally and are still used as text books for art students and artists groups today. She now lives and works in Devon.