Debbie Ayles

Artist, Project manager, Event organiser, Lecturer / academic

I am interested primarily in lines and the patterns and spaces in between. Architecture offers a limitless variety of opportunities to create work based on linear descriptions. As an evolution from my earlier series of paintings concentrating on dilapidated East Anglian Barns, I have recently been inspired by other types of buildings. A commission to paint Lloyds of London for a client made me look at other structures from modern office blocks to historical sites, buildings undergoing restoration and 'new builds'. These have resulted in a number of paintings where scaffolding has been an important part of the composition. The structure of the building underneath and the support network of the scaffolding enfolding it offer an increased complexity. This complexity carries over into my drawings where I emphasise various qualities such as patterns, angles and shapes. The next stage is the painting. I find that some lend themselves to pure linear treatment with a subtle background formed from a simplified detail of the main building. In others I use a complicated mosaic of pastel colours to solidify the structures and reduce the strength of the lines. I have been influenced by the rigid structure and illusions of Bridget Riley but also the patterning of Klimt, Schiele, Boetti and Klee. My images have been compared to Op Art for the tricks they play on the eye. I have shown at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours Open Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London and the Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary Watercolour Exhibition, Bankside, London, the London Group Open and The New English Art Club Open, Norwich Castle Open Art Show Solo exhibitions include Over the Sofa Gallery, Wivenhoe, Essex and Norwich Playhouse and joint exhibitions 'Covert & Obscured' at The Brentwood Gallery, Romford, Essex. I had a stand at the Brighton Art Fair in September which was exhausting! My painting 'Restoration Project: Abberton' (Manwood Barn) is now part of the Eastern Contemporary Art Collection at The University Campus, Suffolk and I exhibited as part of FANN13 in Norwich: the art/architecture trail running there in October. In 2005 I won the 'Art meets Science' category of the Daily Telegraph/Novartis Photographic awards. In 2006 I was the co-contributor for the chapter 'Sarah Raphael's Migraine with Aura as Inspiration for the Foray of Her Work into Abstraction', in 'The Neurobiology of Painting' edited by F Clifford Rose, published by Academic Press, Elsevier, San Diego, Volume 74 of the 'International Review of Neurobiology'. In 2004 Arnold Wilkins and I received a 'sciart Research and Development Award' from The Wellcome Trust to explore the relationship between pattern combinations and colour, and the visual stress they can induce. This Award culminated in an Exhibition in July 2006 at the University Gallery, University of Essex. I have collaborated with authors and scientists in various publications such as 'L'Arte/di Giorgio de Chirico' published in Milan, 'The New York Daily Newsletter' and Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine in August 2002, The Independent and Cephalalgia 2002. I have appeared on local radio stations to talk about art as well as a BBC World Service broadcast about migraine in art. From time to time I teach art degree students as well as give talks to art groups and GCSE art students. Clients include Starbucks, The Wellcome Trust Photographic Library, Essex County Council, NHS, East Contemporary Art Collection and Private. read full statement

Location Colchester, East
Activities Further education, Residencies, Community arts, Private commissions, Critical writing, Curating, Events management, Visual arts consultancy, Project management, Marketing and communications
Artforms Publication, Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Research
Tags architecture, realism, mosaic, linear, watercolour, acrylic, buildings, complex, minimal, buildings

News & Events

  • Royal Insititute of Painters in Water Colour

    02/04/2014 – 19/04/2014
    Mall Galleries, London

    My painting 'High Street, Mersea' has been selected for this Competition and will be exhibited at the in April

    Find out more

  • Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour

    My painting 'High Street, Mersea' has been selected for this competition and will be exhibited in the Mall Galleries, London in April.

  • Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2014

    18/03/2014 – 22/03/2014
    Mall Galleries, London

    My painting 'Marylebone I' has been selected for the Final Round of the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2014.

    Find out more

  • Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2014

    My painting 'Restoration Project: Marylebone' has been selected for the Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2014 at Bankside Gallery, London 7-19 March 2014

  • Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2014

    My painting 'Marylebone I' has been selected for the Final Round of the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2014. Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London 18-22 March 2014

  • Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary Watercolour Competition

    07/03/2014 – 19/03/2014
    Royal Watercolour Society | Bankside Gallery, 48 Hopton Street, London SE1 9JH

    Restoration Project: Marylebone just been selected for this Competition.

    Find out more

  • New Watercolour in progress

    Currently working on a new watercolour of a building under restoration in Marylebone, London. Study and drawing stage done and have just put in first hints of colour.

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