Dr Debra Dawes

DCA (UOW) GradDipVisArt (Sydney) DipVisArt (Newcastle CAE)
Director, Graduate School
Senior Lecturer, Painting

N01P - Sydney College Of The Arts - Rozelle - (Kirkbride)
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 1058
Fax +61 2 9351 1199

Website Debra Dawes

Biographical details

Debra Dawes holds a Doctorate of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong and a Graduate Diploma in Visual Arts from Sydney College of the Arts, where she studied painting in the mid 1980s and was at the same time co-director of Union Street Gallery in Sydney. In 1982 she was awarded a Diploma in Visual Art from the Newcastle College of Advanced Education. Dawes has been a recipient of numerous Australia Council grants.

Dawes' work is represented in several collections including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Western Australia, National Gallery of Australia and New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale.

Dawes’ work has been included in major exhibitions at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, MCA, The National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia, University Art Museum, The University of Queensland, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane and Monash University Gallery, Melbourne.

In 2005, Debra Dawes held a survey exhibition, Everydaynow, at the Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra. A full colour catalogue accompanied the exhibition with a new essay by Helen Grace. In 2006, Dawes' work was included in the Adelaide Biennial, 21st Century Modern exhibition.

In 2007, Dawes was included in the MCA's Cross Currents: Focus on Contemporary Art exhibition. Her most recent solo exhibition in two parts, At Her Majesty’s Pleasure, was at Turner Galleries, Perth June – July, 2012 and May - June 2012 at Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney.

For a detailed CV and illustrated information about Dawes' work please go to Debra Dawes' website or email Debra Dawes

Research interests

There is a long and intensely explored tradition of geometric abstraction in painting that comes from the philosophical position of abstraction/autonomy. It is difficult to harness this visual language into debates concerning social transactions. This, however, is the premise of Dawes’ exploration of the radical dialogue between geometric abstraction and contemporary politics.

In the series Clockwise (2004), the gap between art and life is specifically addressed. The aim is to recharge existing paradigms with contemporary social and political concerns. Each canvas within the series of 12 records the rhythm of the artist’s presence and absence in the studio over a 12-month period. The series radicalises the tradition of the sublime in abstraction and reorients it towards a contemporary paranoia of accountability.

Cover up (2006) responds to the post-9/11 political landscape through the lens of deception and suspicion. Cover up challenged the strategies deployed in the name of ‘border protection’ in Australia. An arctic camouflage net positioned in the gallery predetermines the passage of the viewer in such a way that the viewer is caught between two interconnecting realities: the net and its shadow. One is purely illusory and the other, a device of deception.

Double-dealing (2007) deploys two systems of spatial construction, Renaissance perspective and Modernist planar space – opposed visual and philosophical systems – to interrogate the tensions and the synergies between the two. Double-dealing seeks to throw light on contradiction and duplicity, thus challenging viewers to negotiate their own shifting realities between these systems.

Teaching and supervision

Eddie Abd, MFA

Daniel Hollier, MFA

Marcelle Mansour, MFA

Debra Petrovitch, PhD

Xiao Jie Xu, MFA

Awards and honours

  • 2010 Redlands Westpac Art Prize, Highly Commended
  • 2004 Recipient of Australia Council for the Arts Grant
  • 1997 Recipient of Australia Council for the Arts Grant
  • 1994 Recipient of Australia Council for the Arts Grant
  • 1990 Recipient of Australia Council for the Arts Grant

Selected publications & creative works

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Visual Art

  • Dawes, D. (2012). At Her Majesty's Pleasure 2010. Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2012). At Her Majesty's Pleasure 2011. Turner Galleries, Perth, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2010). 1. Sweet surrender 2. Complete? 3. Dare two 4. Got a hankering (green). In: Complete? Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2010). Never Black and White. In: 15 years of contemporary art : Redlands Westpac Artprize. Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2010). prototype. In: SNO/ONS. SNO contemporary art projects, sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2008). Blind Faith. Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2007). Double-dealing series 2007 1. What's on your mind? 2. Two step, three-four time 3. 13-14, one game all 4. Break the back of the snake 5. Parallel planes 6. Psychedelia and other states. In: Cross Currents. Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2007). gbk@ Silvershot. In: gbk@ Silvershot. Silvershot. Silvershot Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2006). 1. Cover Up 2. Cover Up #1-#7. In: Cover Up. Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2005). 1. Glare #6 2001 2. Glare #7 2001 3. Glare #9 2001 4. clock wise February 2004 5. clock wise March 2004 6. clock wise April 2004 7. clock wise May 2004 8. clock wise June 2004 9. clock wise August 2004 10. clock wise September 2004 11. clock wise October 2004 12. clock wise December 2003 13. clock wise January 2004 14. clock wise October 2005. In: Everydaynow. The Australian National University. Drill Hall Gallery and Art Collection, Canberra, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2005). Anticipating series. In: International Painting on Paper. Gallery Barry Keldoulis (GBK). Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2004). 1. Clockwise January. In: Talking About Abstraction. Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2004). 1. Untitled. In: art & about 2004: Open Gallery. City of Sydney. Open Gallery, central Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2004). 3. clock wise February 2004 4. clock wise March 2004 5. clock wise April 2004 6. clock wise May 2004 7. clock wise June 2004 8. clock wise August 2004 9. clock wise September 2004 10. clock wise October 2004 11. clock wise December 2003 12. clock wise January 2004. In: clock wise. Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2004). Unfinished Business (?HISTORY System ID: 1044207xPUB840). In: Sightseeing | Sydney and Beijing. various, Sydney, Sydney and Beijing, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2003). Son Dos Extranos Mas. In: Shangri-La Collective. Artspace, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2002). Afterthought. Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2002). Good vibrations: the legacy of Op art in Australia. Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen, VIC, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2002). Titles?. In: Unfinished Business. Heide Museum of Modern Art, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2001). Glare. The University of Queensland. Sherman Galleries, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2001). Afterthought 2001. In: Phenomena: new painting in Australia. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Live Performance - Interarts

  • Dawes, D. (2010). Untitled. Open studio. sydney, Australia: Gallery Barry Keldoulis.

Exhibitions / Events

  • Dawes, D. (2010). Sno/ons. Sydney, Australia: SNO contemporary art projects.

2012

  • Dawes, D. (2012). At Her Majesty's Pleasure 2010. Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2012). At Her Majesty's Pleasure 2011. Turner Galleries, Perth, Australia.

2010

  • Dawes, D. (2010). 1. Sweet surrender 2. Complete? 3. Dare two 4. Got a hankering (green). In: Complete? Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2010). Never Black and White. In: 15 years of contemporary art : Redlands Westpac Artprize. Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2010). prototype. In: SNO/ONS. SNO contemporary art projects, sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2010). Sno/ons. Sydney, Australia: SNO contemporary art projects.
  • Dawes, D. (2010). Untitled. Open studio. sydney, Australia: Gallery Barry Keldoulis.

2008

  • Dawes, D. (2008). Blind Faith. Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, Australia.

2007

  • Dawes, D. (2007). Double-dealing series 2007 1. What's on your mind? 2. Two step, three-four time 3. 13-14, one game all 4. Break the back of the snake 5. Parallel planes 6. Psychedelia and other states. In: Cross Currents. Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2007). gbk@ Silvershot. In: gbk@ Silvershot. Silvershot. Silvershot Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.

2006

  • Dawes, D. (2006). 1. Cover Up 2. Cover Up #1-#7. In: Cover Up. Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, Australia.

2005

  • Dawes, D. (2005). 1. Glare #6 2001 2. Glare #7 2001 3. Glare #9 2001 4. clock wise February 2004 5. clock wise March 2004 6. clock wise April 2004 7. clock wise May 2004 8. clock wise June 2004 9. clock wise August 2004 10. clock wise September 2004 11. clock wise October 2004 12. clock wise December 2003 13. clock wise January 2004 14. clock wise October 2005. In: Everydaynow. The Australian National University. Drill Hall Gallery and Art Collection, Canberra, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2005). Anticipating series. In: International Painting on Paper. Gallery Barry Keldoulis (GBK). Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, Australia.

2004

  • Dawes, D. (2004). 1. Clockwise January. In: Talking About Abstraction. Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2004). 1. Untitled. In: art & about 2004: Open Gallery. City of Sydney. Open Gallery, central Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2004). 3. clock wise February 2004 4. clock wise March 2004 5. clock wise April 2004 6. clock wise May 2004 7. clock wise June 2004 8. clock wise August 2004 9. clock wise September 2004 10. clock wise October 2004 11. clock wise December 2003 12. clock wise January 2004. In: clock wise. Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2004). Unfinished Business (?HISTORY System ID: 1044207xPUB840). In: Sightseeing | Sydney and Beijing. various, Sydney, Sydney and Beijing, Australia.

2003

  • Dawes, D. (2003). Son Dos Extranos Mas. In: Shangri-La Collective. Artspace, Sydney, Australia.

2002

  • Dawes, D. (2002). Afterthought. Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2002). Good vibrations: the legacy of Op art in Australia. Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen, VIC, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2002). Titles?. In: Unfinished Business. Heide Museum of Modern Art, Australia.

2001

  • Dawes, D. (2001). Glare. The University of Queensland. Sherman Galleries, Australia.
  • Dawes, D. (2001). Afterthought 2001. In: Phenomena: new painting in Australia. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

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