Artist Biography - Debbie Smyth
Debbie Smyth is textile artist most identifiable by her statement in-depth thread drawings; these playful yet sophisticated contemporary artworks are created by stretching a network of threads between accurately plotted pins.
Smyth's interest in textiles started from a young age, as her mother always mended her clothes. She learnt to sew early in life, but it wasn’t until sh...e completed her foundation course that she discovered what was achievable through textiles. She learnt that sewing didn’t just have to be functional, and fell in love with making art out of textiles. After her Foundation, Smyth's moved to Wales to study in Contemporary Textiles, where she perfected her current technique. After graduating, she started her successful career as a contemporary textiles artist.
Her work is often inspired by memories, as she searches out imagery and records events, by drawing or photographing situations, to bring memories back to life in a piece of art.Through this method, she gives a new lease of life to oft-ignored aspects of our lives.The artist enjoys playing with perspective and creating the illusion of depth within each intricate piece she carefully plots.
Smyth's work beautifully blurs the boundaries between fine art drawings and textile art, flat and 3D work, illustration and embroidery, literally lifting the drawn line off the page in a series of pin and thread drawings. The artist goes through a lengthy, complex process to capture a feeling of energy and spontaneity within her work. Smyth plots out her images with pins and before filling them out with thread, she looks to find a juxtaposition between the sharp angels of her work, which contrast the soft flowing ends of thread.
"I feel as if I am taking thread out of its comfort zone, presenting it on monumental scale and creating an eye-catching, and in some case jaw dropping effect.” Debbie has worked with companies both nationally and internationally and many iconic brands, including Adidas, Ellesse, The New York Times, Mercedes Benz, The Canadian Red Cross, Sony, Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Hermes and The Dorchester Hotel Group.
Creating both gallery installations and works for domestic interiors, Debbie plays with scale. Her distinctive style is adaptable to a variety of environments, public spaces, window display, set design, graphic design, illustration and corporate environments. Through recent collaborations with interior designers, architects and other creative practitioners, Debbie pushes the expected scope of her work even further.
Recently, Smyth was commissioned by interior designer and TV presenter, Naomi Cleaver to create Flight Paths in the Sky Lounge at IQ Shoreditch. This permanent artwork demonstrates flight paths across London during a 24-hour period and is made of black copper wire, black pins and steel place-names hovering about the surface of the wall of the twelfth-floor common room.