Lily plant, yucca and palm
Redland Art Gallery Collection. Acquired in 2016 with Redland Art Gallery Acquisition Funds.
Debbie Presley’s series of vessels intimately works with the natural world to reveal ways of seeing, understanding and caring for the land.
The artist states: “I am working within the space of my home garden as a way of demonstrating the continuing relationship Aboriginal people who live in the cities have to country. Elements from my garden and my neighbourhood become ‘message carriers’ that reveal an inherent Indigenous belief system that underpins my artwork. These works are inspired by personal experience and cultural knowledge, and research and experimentation with natural fibres available to me in my surrounding urban landscape. I do this as a way of remembering my responsibility to Country, and to celebrate the joy of living in the city of Redcliffe.”
The vessels, created from available fibres such as yucca, corn husk, and honeysuckle, represent phenomena such as the growth of a vine and a spider’s web. The natural materials have been meticulously prepared, twisted, coiled and twined in a process of creating that is equally as important as the final outcome. For Presley, weaving is a meditative act, with the repetitive actions offering time to think deeply and reflectively about her ancestors.
Presley has a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art (Sculpture) from the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University and was selected to participate in the inaugural South Stradbroke Island Indigenous Artist Camp in 2014, exhibiting in the resulting group exhibition at the Gold Coast City Art Gallery.