Watercolor Magic October 2005 (6 page feature article)
The Artists Magazine June 2005 (cover banner)
Exhibition September 2001 (cover)
Art Access September 2000 (cover)
The Bainbridge Island Review September 2000
Art Access June 1999
The Bainbridge Island Review June 5, 1999
The Green (London) September 1998
The Green (London) June 1998
The Abstract #’s Show
Debora House Abstract # s at Galleri Duerr
This show is in a way a retrospective. I arrived in Sweden in the autumn of 1994 to put down roots with my husband and daughter. I had just sold my textile company and was in search of a new way to be after spending the past two decades in San Francisco and in Bangkok. I had lived and thrived among assorted Creative’s. A life brimming with artists, architects, designers, textile showrooms, factories and studios-Sweden was a strange land. We lived in a remote house in the archipelago where I felt isolated and particularly foreign.
Stockholm was the actual view through Ingmar Bergman’s lens. But the dark and cold of Scandinavia was not as challenging as the Nordic reserve. I had traveled to Thailand every year for twenty years and found the Asian culture to be much more understandable and inclusive. It was curious that in a sarong and sandals I could disappear into a Thai life but in Sweden I was glaringly alien. My outgoing American personality was not, in the least way, lagom. A word roughly translating to ‘just enough’. The behaviour I did not understand but the light I did. So I began to paint. Abstract expressionism is where I started and this became a means of figuring out my new life. The painting You Must Believe in spring is from that time. I eventually settled into a style and fascination with landscapes. I simply couldn’t stop painting them and there was always a painting that went over the line to surreal or abstract that didn’t make it into my exhibitions.
Now after sixteen years of painting Galleri Duerr is showing my first exhibition of these abstract pieces. What links them together is my unrelenting interest in communication through symbols, myth, mathematics, and language. Looking back this fascination seems appropriate, as I could not communicate in Swedish. The painting Flow has runic writing embedded in the paint and a tumbling house. This was painted after we moved temporarily to the Pacific North west and back. As was Nnorthorth by Not so North, which shows a crossroad.
Prove It is a graffiti version of Fermat’s last Theorem (a problem that tormented mathematicians for four hundred years before being solved). The Sum of Infinity is the math for the infinite. I was fascinated my daughter’s homework and asked her to do the equations on works-in-progress. The two ghostly paintings The Writings on the Wall and Dream of a Red Kimono are from a series when I was feeling my way through the loss of my ‘life’s work’ with textiles. The kimonos are hanging on rods, suspended or trapped in corners. The fish in The Writings on the Wall represents the subconscious trying to convey a message but the moment has past, the robe remains but the geisha (a nourishing energy) is gone. Seed pearls are embroidered on the robe and small watch parts are floating on the water. A line and hook are hovering with a fragment in Latin.
The dreamscapes Northern Lights and Chengdu are impressions of the landscapes obscured by weather. The best time of year to see the Northern lights are usually when there is too much cloud cover to observe them. I arrived in the mountains in China in fog so the outlines were soft and fluid looking. Öland is made with the minimum amount of washes to suggest the lightness and the fleeting moment that is summer at the 59th parallel.
Collecting these paintings together for this show feels like I am vulnerable in a way I have never allowed myself before. Some are personal and reveal my private and talismanic symbols. The kimonos, (my Asian persona) clock parts (fear of time wasted), runes and numbers (a simple symbol that represents a complex concept) reveal my secrets and my struggles. The landscape paintings are about colour and atmosphere intended to create a sense of place, of peace and harmony. They evolved as a way to transcend language. I paint to jazz music with energy and drama in the moment but the results are calm and quiet. I found a way, after all, to be logom.
New Work for Galleri Duerr
“A good day of painting is like a jazz session, as if I have picked up an instrument and played my heart out. Each colour is a different sound. Another day it would not be the same song, another moment it would all be different. Sometime just before I finish a painting I have to sit with it and let it be. I will walk into the studio and see it and pick up a brush, slash in some colour that I didn't consider before and it´s done! That moment can never be forced or coerced. It just has to happen at the right moment in time.
I have been fortunate to work around some very inspired and amazing people. Leatice Eiseman who I worked with on a color project for Pantone. She hired me and then let me rearrange the Pantone fan deck in a new order and insert 200 new colors as well as working with the chemists to fill in the gap colors after rearranging the deck. It was exactly the right kind of work for me because I can see such minute variances in tones and shades. It was a privilege to be in her orbit and see how she works. My project was just one small piece of all that she does in the color industry and I learned so much.
Artist and Gallery owner Judith Kindler who represented me in Seattle at Atelier 31 is a fabulous women. She and I both had had textile companies and we knew each other from those days but both of us migrated to painting. I always felt I had to take everything very seriously with her and up my game because I was showing with other important artists. Fear of hanging beside them made me dig deep inside myself and draw up my best effort.
I work from the inside out and hope for the best where it all ends up. I am very organised and plan out my life but in my work I jump in at the deep end. I make my way to the shore eventually but I am never in the same water twice.”
At Galleri Duerr November 29 - December 14 Hornsgatan. 44 Stockholm