"These are paintings that I fully expect to see featured in glossy magazines, on walls of loft-style apartments or trendy London homes. If an interior designer hasn’t discovered Debbie Ayles’ works yet, I would be very surprised and rather disappointed.’' Rachel Sloane, East Anglian Daily Times
Kaavous Clayton, Curator, The Minories Galleries, Colchester School of Art part of Colchester Institute.
My paintings are the result of my fascination with lines, patterns and spaces. I find architecture offers a limitless variety of opportunities to create work based on these elements. When out and about I often notice buildings hidden by scaffolding: office blocks, historical sites, buildings undergoing restoration and ‘new builds’ and find the support network of metal poles offers an increased complexity to the image. Sometimes only in place for a short while, the transitory scene is appealing as well as the fact I only glimpse it for a brief moment myself. Such discoveries have resulted in paintings where the scaffolding is an important part of the overall composition.
Some subjects lend themselves to pure linear treatments where I use solid blocks of colour underneath a painted representation of the building; in others, I create a complicated mosaic of colours solidifying the structures formed from the drawing. Often using photgraphs back in the studio they arestudied, drawings were made, shapes extricated, reflected, overlaid and manipulated to make both more complex and more simplified images and a number of paintings arecreated as a result. I am also using reflections as a way of enjoying patterning.
Recently I have tried to emphasise the temporary nature of the scaffolding by adding thin layers of paint and underdrawings that hint of another story unfolding underneath. The underdrawing is often an area selected from the main drawing, chosen to enhance or define the finished layer. This segment is then manipulated and painted on top of layers of crimson, blue, and yellow washes. The intricate mesh of the foreground is painted as a negative image in pale washes creating a misty appearance to the landscape.
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 and the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition. I have also had numerous solo exhibitions include Norwich Playhouse and Halesworth Gallery, Suffolk, 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.
CV & Education
2015 Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour, Mall Galleries, London
2014 Royal Watercolour Society Watercolour Contemporary Watercolour Competition, Bankside, London
2014 Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, Mall Galleries, London
2014 Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour, Mall Galleries, London
2014 Eastern Open, King's Lynn Art Centre, Norfolk
2013 Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours Open Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
2013 Royal Watercolour Society Watercolour Exhibition, Bankside, London
2012 Norwich Castle Open Art Show, Norwich, Norfolk
2012 Visions of East Anglia, The Minories Galleries, Colchester, Essex
2012/11 Eastern Open, King's Lynn Art Centre, Norfolk
2012 Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary Watercolour Exhibition, Bankside, London
2011 New English Art Club, Mall Galleries, London
2011 The London Group Open Exhibition, The Cello Factory, London
2011 Elements: Material Worlds, the forum, Norwich, Norfolk
2010 ING Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London
2010 Elements: Man and the Environment, the forum, Norwich, Norfolk
2009 Art Liberating Lives, Mall Galleries, London
2009 The London Group Open Exhibition, Menier Gallery, London
2009 Royal West of England Academy 7th Open Print Exhibition, Bristol
2009 21st Century Watercolour, Royal Watercolour Society, Bankside, London
2008 Norwich Castle Open Art Show, Norfolk
2007 The London Group Open Exhibition, Menier Gallery, London
2006 Visions of Science, Institut de Cultura, Barcelona
2005/6 As part of Visions of Science Award tour venues including the Science Museum, London, Glasgow Scientific Centre, Newcastle International Centre for Life, Buxton Museum &Art Gallery, John Cleveland
College, Leicestershire, City College, Brighton, NEWI Wrexham, INTEC, Winchester, Belfast, Haslemere
Museum, Surrey, Cheltenham Town Hall, Think tank, Birmingham
2014 Cupola Gallery, Sheffield
2014 Harwich Festival of Arts
2013 East Contemporary Art: A Collection of 21st Century Practice, Waterfront Gallery, UCS, Ipswich
2013 FANN13, Festival of Art and Architecture in Norfolk and Norwich, Norwich
2012 Highgate Gallery, 26 Highgate High Street, Highgate, London
2012 Mandells Gallery, Elm Hill Norwich, Norfolk
2010 Neal's Yard Galleries, Chelsea, London
2010 House Open, Claremont Hotel, Brighton
2010 Elements: Man and the Environment, the forum, Norwich, Norfolk
2009 ARTSPACE, Henley on Thames
2014 The Minories, Colchester, Essex
2013 Norwich Playhouse, Norwich, Norfolk
2013 Over the Sofa Gallery, Wivenhoe, Essex
2011 Essex Records Office, Chelmsford, Essex
2010/8 Digby Gallery, Colchester, Essex
2010 End of Residency Exhibition, Cuckoo Farm Studios, Colchester, Essex
2010 Halesworth Gallery, Halesworth, Suffolk
2008 The Cut, Halesworth, Suffolk
2012 Creffield Medical Centre Art Competition: Prize winner
2010 Cuckoo Farm Residency, 6 week residency at Cuckoo Farm Studios, Essex
2005 Photograph of Jesmond Barn wins 1st prize in the ‘Art meets Science’ award in the
Daily Telegraph/Novartis ‘Vision of Science’ Photographic Awards
2004 Granted ‘sciart Research and Development’ award by The Wellcome Trust to
investigate ‘Aversion to Contemporary Art’, in collaboration with Professor Arnold
Wilkins, Director of Visual Perception Unit, University of Essex.
2007 ‘Science’ magazine report on our sciart presentation to CambridgeUniversity
2006 ‘The Neurobiology of Painting’ published by Academic Press, Elsevier, San Diego,Volume 74 of ‘International Review of Neurobiology’ edited by F Clifford Rose - co-contributor for the chapter ‘Sarah Raphael’s Migraine with Aura as Inspiration for the Foray of Her Work into Abstraction’
2004 ‘What it is like to have a migraine: Debbie Ayles multimedia ‘Mig Installation’" Debbie Ayles, Nicola,Klaus Podoll, paper published in Confinia Cephalagia, Italy
2003 New York Arts Daily Newsletter web article published about Sarah Raphael,
2003 Paintings and research included in ‘L’Arte di Giorgio de Chirico’ written by Ubaldo Nicola and Klaus Podoll, published in Milan by Mimesisneuro-estetica
2003 ‘Kaleidoscopic hallucinations as visual aura symptom in migraine’, published in Confinia Cephalagia, Italy
2002 ‘Inspired by migraine: Sarah Raphael’s ‘Strip’ paintings’, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Volume 95, Great Britain
2012 One of the 300 artists selected from 3333 entrants shortlisted for 2nd round of the Saatchi Abstract Showdown.
2011 LA Times (May 21&23) publishes 'Greenacres' and 'Jesmond Barn'
2010 Short-listed for Stage 2 of the John Moores 2010 Contemporary Painting Prize
2008/4 BBC Essex, invited speaker
2007 Ipart Art Fair, Cornhill, Ipswich
2007 Original artwork prize at the Colchester Arts Society Open Exhibition
2006 Detail of Jesmond Barn used for article in BBC Focus Magazine
2004/5/6/8/10/11 Colchester and Tendring Open Studios, Essex
2004 Short-listed for Stage 2 of the John Moores 23, Exhibition of Contemporary Painting
2003 BBC World Service, ‘Outlook’ programme, invited guest speaker
Starbucks, The Wellcome Trust Image Library, Essex County Council, Essex County Hospital, Eastern Contemporary Art Collection at The University Campus, Suffolk and Private.