Debra Dawes

Debra Dawes, Left: March 2004, Right: July 2004, Oil on Canvas

clock wise: Debra Dawes

Dates: 9 March – 15 April

Opening: Tuesday 8 March, 6pm

Artist: Debra Dawes

For many years Debra Dawes’ work has engaged perception and specifically the construction of space within painting as a social construct.


Dawes has been working with minimal grid patterns that have had a mathematical basis since 1982, yet her practice is much concerned with the emotions and human relations as optical relationships.

The exhibition clock wise by Debra Dawes consists of a series of 12 large canvases painted over a twelve month period. Each painting is a monthly record, which begins with December 2003 and ends with November 2004.

The individual canvas, a notation of the rhythm of the artist’s presence and absence in the studio, is drawn up according to the number of days in the month. Consequently thirty days are represented by thirty stripes. When present in the studio the lapse of time is documented by painting in the number of stripes that represent each day since the last recording.

This new series of works investigates painting as a system that records lived rhythms, encounters and responses to being in the world. The system embodies the interplay between the self and the medium of communication; between the painter and the painting. Implicit within each painting then, is the pattern constructed out of duration and immediacy; from the ebb and flow of lived experience.

Soiux Garside, Sightseeing,Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney, exhibition catalogue, 2004, p18