About the Artist
Debi Gill has been working with wood for over two decades, both as a fine woodworker and as a functional artist. Her interest in working with wood began as a little girl. Growing up in a Portuguese family of carpenters, boat builders and fishermen fueled Debi's imagination. Art school gave her the structure to pursue her other creative interests, while keeping her passion for working with wood close to her heart. In 1985, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Massachussetts College of Art.
Upon graduation after 6 intense years of art school, Debi realized that her education had given her a foundation, but did not answer the yearning passion to create. Discouraged, she began a career as a woodworker/carpenter from 1986-1992. Her experience as a carpenter taught her the fundamentals of woodworking. It also helped her solidify her belief that wood was indeed a vehicle of expression that could satisfy her creative imagination. By 1992, Debi was feeling drained by her carpentry work and longed to reconnect with her childhood imagination that embraced wood and building. She soon decided to leave the security of being a carpenter and by 1993 was able to begin pursuing her artistic career.
Debi's art integreates her knowledge of designing, building, and painting; it is a synthesis of her passions and interests. Debi strives to design a piece to have a strong visual impact by combining basic building techiniques with unique color combinations and abstract material arrangements. The relationship between art and function is a crucial part of her work. It is important that the work speaks first as a visual object and second as a utilitarian structure.
The work has often been referred to as studio furniture, functional sculpture, and art functional. Each component of the work is finished individually before assembling. The building process begins with the energy of the material, and seldom through a sketch or drawing. The final product is somewhat unknown until the day the piece is put together; change is an element Debi works into her contructions. Until that point, a piece only exists in her mind and she strives to allow the piece to speak and surprise her if necessary. In many of her pieces, Debi uses old, discarded materials. She finds great joy in being able to take something destined for the landfill and transforming it by giving it a purpose again through the work. Each piece leaves her continually inspired and fascinated by the myraid possibilites of the imagination.
Preferred Audiences: Adult
Disciplines: Sculpture, Crafts
GillDebi67 Arrowsic Road
Arrowsic ME 04530-7101