About Deborah

The Artist

Botanical artist, print maker, fabric designer, natural historian, ecological activist.

Deborah has spent many years living amongst the wild button-grass plains and the deep rain-forests of Tasmania, collecting specimens (sustainably and with permissions) to inspire new creations of art and design..

Her specimen collection has grown over the years into a significant archive of immense beauty forming a unique record of Tasmania’s botanical heritage, including many threatened and endangered species. 

Deborah is exploring fashion and fabric design to bring awareness to important cross cultural, historical and conservation issues.

She is a graduate from Canberra School of Arts (1988) with a Bachelor Degree in Visual Arts, Printmaking.

You are invited to learn more about the environment, methods, and artworks. Look closer.

The Churchill Fellowship

International Research Scholarships

Herbarium label

Deborah has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship, Australia’s most prestigious international research scholarship.

This enabled her to travel to Europe to access the Herbarium materials from some of the first Western scientific Expeditions to Tasmania. 

She viewed botanical specimens and print collections located in Paris, Florence, Le Havre and Kew from the d’Entrecasteaux and Baudin expeditions to Tasmania and is now creating contemporary cultural motifs and Australian designs.

Connections

A link to history

DW at Herbarium showing archival boxes

Deborah’s style is influenced by the botanical collections of the 1792 French D’Entrecasteaux Scientific Expedition to southern Tasmania, including naturalist J J H Labillardiere who authored Novae Hollandiae Plantarum Specimen- the first Flora of Australia. 

She explores the wild botany of Tasmania, maintaining an extensive pressed plant herbarium and a plant print collection, digitised to create innovative contemporary Australian designs for fashion and architectural canvasses.

A sense of place

Rainforest plant leaves on floor

Tasmania is a botanical paradise, harbouring strange species from the Jurassic and deep rainforests containing some of the world’s oldest and largest living plants.

Deborah creates art depicting these: the precious and threatened native orchids, the wild buttongrass plant communities and deep rain forests.

She transforms  them into gorgeous works of art on paper and beautiful silks, chiffon and linen.  

Ecological activism

Scene of Buttongrass and water

Beginning with her involvement in the successful campaign to protect the historic and wild Recherche Bay site – where the first French Expeditions set their base – Deborah has been actively campaigning for the conservation and appreciation of wild botanical sites.

Botanical linkages

Deborah works with ecology scientists, enthusiasts, activists, and artists. She volunteers at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens with the Orchid Conservation program to help endangered species to be germinated, grown and nurtured in the laboratory before being planted in the wild to rejuvenate the population.

Media & Presentations

Appearances and features

  • GARDENING AUSTRALIA
  • TASMANIAN GEOGRAPHIC
  • ABC RADIO & ONLINE
  • THE SARTORIAL NATURALIST
  • LIVERPOOL WORLD MUSEUM

Major projects

Overviews of significant works

Contact

debwace@gmail.com
9th floor, 65 Murray Street, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Environment, methods, designs, products
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