Debbbie Nairn

I take my inspiration from all I see around me from seed pods to sky-scrapers.

I’m drawn to the contrasts between natural and man-made but am greatly disturbed by the manipulation of man’s greed which turns against mother nature and her evolving fight for survival. Watching how humans learn the consequences of negative actions on nature and those who chose to ignore them. Mother Nature will win, if we destroy her, we will in the end kill ourselves.

Ever since I was young, I have sensed life in contrasts. When drifting off to sleep, one hand would touch the other, my skin would feel like rough bark or smooth marble. Fingers would seem to be ballooning beyond their capability or shrunk down to matchsticks.

These sensations have travelled with me all my life – I can still see the bark or marble in my mind. This has been a huge influence in my work, without even realising at first.

I work in contrasts, opposites, black and white, rough and smooth, restriction and freedom. Always questioning where is the balance?

There is a gentle balance between freedom and control which I like to show in my work. No piece is ultimately stable, so I make stands to give an idea of stability. Each can be seen on their own, together or even side-by-side.

I work in different elements with ceramic being the primary – it is of the earth. I use slip casting as a control method but give the freedom back by letting the moulds fail.

From the earth is wood. Its natural form suggests its use to me, the control comes from carving, dictated by the vessel to sit upon it.

Metal is used to portray the man-made element, used as a control of what each piece does. Jewellery findings give the piece a job. Also, metal has dominance by way of forcing it to stand in a specific way rather than its natural posture.

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