Deborah Gourlay

The colourful textiles and architecture from Deborah’s childhood in Latin America formed her early inspiration and love of colour and pattern. She works in an instinctive and spontaneous ways and often combines various media such as print, photography, drawing and painting. She graduated with a degree from Farnham Art School in 2010. 
Deborah has spent four years working with Glyndebourne, producing paintings inspired by the season’s opera productions and this has taken her work in a new and exciting direction. The costumes and dramatic sets have provided her with a palette of exciting possibilities to work from. ‘It’s been a huge privilege to have been given access to Glyndebourne’s dress rehearsals and also allowing me to go behind the scenes to witness the makings of the productions. I found the creative atmosphere so uplifting and was hugely inspired by the visual magic and reverie that is created onstage. The shifting sets constantly revealing and obscuring, from ghostly presences to the intensity of colour and pattern created from lighting, the stage sets and the wonderful costumes and characters, but also the silent spaces in between and after the performances.’

The works included in the exhibition have been inspired by Joanna Parker’s beautiful Moorish sets for Il Barbiere, the whimsical fairy creatures of Midsummer’s Dream, and the playful costumes of Saul, Cinderella and Rosenkavallier. She has primarily worked with oil paint on paper, board or canvas, and she has also created some mixed media and collage work. For the mixed media etchings she often combines and layers watercolour, monoprinting, collage and then each one is finished with an etching on top.

From 2010-11 Deborah was Artist in Residence at the Watt's gallery in Compton. She spent the year leading workshops with young offenders, prisoners and the homeless. Her artwork which was mainly inspired by the Watt's chapel culminated in a one-man show in the main gallery. Deborah has always been fascinated by architectural spaces and was granted privileged access to the Grange, a semi-derelict mansion which stages an annual opera festival during the summer months. Her time there culminated in a solo exhibition at the Grange in 2018 exploring its dramatic interiors incorporating 15-foot wall hangings.

Deborah has exhibited in London at the Mall galleries, the Royal Watercolour Society, the Royal College and the AAF as well as many regional galleries such as the Lightbox in Woking, Chichester Open and Pallant house. She has also won several awards in painting and printmaking. She has been a regular exhibitor at the gallery since 2011.