Approved: 27.08.2014

Deborah Westmancoat


Approved: 27.08.2014

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014 Artist

Read more ...

  • Location: Taunton, South West
  • Artforms: Drawing, Mixed media, Painting, Photography
  • Tags: alchemy, collage, found, land, cornwall, ink, painting, site specific, metal, zinc, nigredo, rain, water, sky, blue




    Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014 Artist

    Royal West of England: Artist Network Member

    Deborah Westmancoat is a British contemporary painter based in Somerset, UK. She has a long term interest in alchemy and the philosophical sciences and how they help us to understand landscape and our place within it, particularly how the traditionally held metaphysical stages of alchemy: nigredo (blackness), albedo(whiteness), citrinitas (yellowing) and rubredo (redness) might appear within the natural environment.  Paintings begin in the quiet places where these stages become apparent and are made as a direct result of first hand experience within the landscape. Samples of site and weather specific waters – flood, rain, hailstones, dew, frost and snow melt – are collected and combined with ink and locally found elements to record the peculiarities, mysteries and attitudes of water held within the British landscape, particularly around the South West of England.

    Informed by local flooding, recent works focused on a visual understanding of nigredo, the dark, formless first state of alchemy, as experienced through the element of water. Paintings became experiments in understanding the nature of immersion, how to lose oneself in the work and absent oneself from the outcome. As part of the making process, panels were repeatedly immersed in black writing ink and local flood waters. Each time the previous story was washed away and a new story ‘written’ upon the surface. These durational works were an attempt to understand the nature of beginnings, of how the movement of water can alter the ‘known’ over time, and how our psyche is affected by the temporary loss of the familiar in our environment.

    Current paintings investigate the second stage of alchemy, albedo, introducing the transformational action of albedic light and order. Particular virtues and qualities of form and light observed within streams, icicles, hoar frost and hailstorms have been the catalyst for new works which use collected samples of each to reference the energy, beauty and dynamism of water in these specific places and forms.

    Works are held in both public and private collections and exhibited frequently throughout the UK and internationally.  Recent exhibitions include Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014 at the World Museum, Liverpool Biennial, The ICA, London and The Newlyn Gallery, the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2014, The Open West 2015, The RWA Open 2015, Dorchester Arts Open 2015 (first prize) and The Signature Art Prize 2015 (Painting Category finalist).

    CV & Education



    Based in Somerset, UK

    Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2014) Artist

    Royal West of England Academy: Artist Network Member

    Saatchi Artist







    Catchments and Transcripts – solo exhibition at Dukes Gallery, Dorchester, Dorset

    Material Fact – joint exhibition with Stewart Geddes RWA, Studio 1:1, Shoreditch, London

    248th RA Summer Exhibition – Royal Academy, London (currently shortlisted)

    Art-Map – Ponte de Lima, Portugal (currently shortlisted

    Artist Network Members Show – Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

    Hanging Instructions – curated by Sveta Antonova, Fringe Arts Bath, Somerset

    Secret Postcard Auction 2016 – Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

    Quartz – Queen’s College, Taunton, Somerset

    Water Works – international project culminating in a live streaming event where 22 curators from 19 countries will discuss selected entries and respond to online audience.

    Pay and Display – Centrespace Gallery, Bristol

    1000 Postcards – Black Swan Arts, Somerset

    The Tempest – Contains Art, Watchet, Somerset

    The Bureau Open Art Show 2016 – The Bureau Centre for the Arts, Blackburn, Lancashire

    Momentum – The Museum in the Park Gallery, Stroud, Gloucestershire

    Got Mail? – East Bristol Contemporary, Trinity Arts Centre, Bristol

    artcornwall: web projects

    Somerset Open Studios – The Brewhouse, Taunton, Somerset

    Boundaries 2 – L’Artishe Gallery, Swanage, Dorset

    Make Believe: Celebrating the Creativity of Pupils and Staff from Artsmark Schools across Somerset – The Rose Room, Hestercombe Gallery, Somerset

    Postcards – St Ives School of Painting, Porthmeor Studios, Cornwall

    Ancient Scent – year long artist-led project exploring the art techniques of British Surrealist Ithell Colquhoun within the Lamorna landscape culminating in a group exhibition in Cornwall



    Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014ICA, The Mall, London

    Signature Art Prize 2015 (Painting Category Finalist) DegreeArt, Shoreditch, London

    Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014 – Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall

    Contemporary British Art Auction 2015 – Morton Casa de Subastas, Mexico City, Mexico

    163rd RWA Open 2015 – Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

    Being Human: Words for a Value Led Life – Porthmeor Studios, St Ives, Cornwall

    Pause – House Gallery, Camberwell, London

    Subasta de Verano: Contemporary British Art Morton Casa de Subastas, Mexico City, Mexico

    Evolver Prize 2015 – Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton, Devon

    The Open West 2015 The Wilson Gallery, Cheltenham, Gloucs

    Dorchester Arts Open 2015 (First Prize) Dorchester Arts Centre, Dorset

    Game of ConsequencesThe Exchange Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall

    ON PHOTOcopy/DISPLACEMENT – 44AD Gallery, Bath, Somerset

    Christmas Art Fair – Chalton Gallery, Camden, London

    A Space Between – The Stone Space Gallery, London

    Time and Place – SAW Members Show, RUH, Bath

    Matter. Place. An Other – Gallery 202,!matterplaceanother/ct4s

    Hand of FourThe Brewhouse Gallery, Taunton, Somerset

    Momentum – The Musgrove Gallery, Taunton, Somerset

    InspirED Showcase – Hestercombe House Gallery, Somerset

    Land of the Summer People – collaboration with PhD Hydrology students from Exeter University, works exhibited at Exeter Community Centre, project subsequently presented at Casa Pausa, Lima Peru and The AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA by Seila Fernandez Arconada

    Drop Me a Line – Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton, Devon

    Open Studios 2015 – G14, BV Studios, Bristol

    DiagnosisThe Musgrove Gallery, Taunton, Somerset

    RELAPSE – artist led collective

    Black Squares, Black Lines and Black Magic – curated by David Smith, Black Swan Arts, Somerset

    Water-Meadow-Wood V3 Residency Exhibition – The Octagon, Yeovil, Somerset

    Plymouth Other Open 2015 – Shoal Arts Co-operative



    Now in Reverse – Hundred Years Gallery, Hoxton, London

    Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014 – Liverpool Biennial at World Museum, Liverpool

    Regulate – The Montgomery Gallery, Sheffield

    Fabric of the Land Union Square, Aberdeen Harbour, Scotland

    3rd Anniversary Exhibition – Exeter Contemporary Arts Hub, Devon

    RA Summer Exhibition – Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London

    Free Range – Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, London

    Revelation – Plymouth University/Somerset College, Taunton, Somerset

    Showcase – The Brewhouse, Taunton, Somerset

    Signature Art Prize – online gallery

    The Coffee Art Project Allegra Foundation, Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London



    Marshwood Vale Arts Awards – (selected by John Hubbard) Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset

    Fabric of the Land – Geology Department, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

    Wish You Were Here? Contains Art, Watchet, Somerset

    Free Range – Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, London

    Connected – The Market House, Taunton, Somerset

    Showcase – White Space Gallery, Taunton, Somerset




    Work held in many private collections, both UK and international, and the public collections of Close Ltd, Exeter University and Bristol University (PhD Hydrology faculty).



    2016 Fresh Paint: International Issue 13, June 2016 – Rebecca Wilson, Saatchi Art (guest ed)

    2016 Internationale Kunst Heute 2016 – IKH Publishing: Germany, M Kolle, Dr I Gardill (eds), p.302-303, 357.

    2016 British Vogue: A Vogue Interior (image and text), June 2016 publication, p.443.

    2016 The Tempest: William Shakespeare – limited publication of 500, Contains Art (ed)

    2016 Hive, Issue no 3, June 2016 – private publication, edition of 15, N Gronw-Lewis (guest ed)

    2015 Subasta de Arte Britanico Contemporaneo 2015 – Morton Casa de Subastas, Mexico City, Mexico, p.40 – 41, 98

    2014 The State of Art: Landscape and Portrait #1Bare Hill Publishing, A Laffan (ed), p. 90 – 93

    2014 Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014E David (author), K Ogg (ed), p.21, 108



    2015 Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust – award towards progression of studio work for 2016

    2015 Dorchester Arts Open 2015 – First Prize, Judges Award (funded Solo Exhibition for 2016)

    2014 Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust – award towards progression of studio work for 2015

    2013 Taunton Deane Borough Council – Art and Design Bursary 2013/14



    2013 – 2014 BA Hons Fine Art (1st Class) – Plymouth University

    2011 – 2013 FdA Fine Art (Distinction) – Plymouth University





    Specialist art workshops working sensitively with a group of adult trauma survivors undertaking a recovery programme with national charity ‘Escaping Victimhood’.

    A series of dedicated GCSE art workshops in painting and drawing with Fairmead Community Special School, Yeovil, Somerset.


    Specialist Art Workshop Leader with RAISE (Racial Awareness, Inclusion, Support and Education), a group of young people based in Yeovil aged 4 – 12 with English as a second language.

    Land of the Summer People – lead artist working in collaboration with PhD Hydrology students from Exeter University to enable creative thinking and deeper understanding of the movement of flood on the Somerset Levels.

    Outdoor art workshops for disabled children of all ages and their families through Short Breaks organisation, Yeovil, Somerset. 

    Specialist Art Workshop Leader at Fairmead Community Special School, Yeovil.  Introducing making art in the landscape to young people from Key Stage 1 – 5 with a range of learning difficulties along with complex physical and emotional needs.

    Art workshops for children of all ages/ abilities and their families at The Octagon Theatre, Yeovil, as part of Somerset Art Weeks.

    Summer School collaborative Pinhole Camera/Camera Obscura/Photography workshops for Year 7 – 10 – Bishop Fox’s Secondary School, Taunton, Somerset.

    Specialist Workshop Leader (Mixed Media) for S4S3 Somerset Secondary Schools Common Inset Day (reconnecting art teachers with their practice) – The Blue School, Wells, Somerset.


    Visiting Tutor of Art (GCSE and IB/A Level) for international students, Academic Summer School, Sidcot School, Somerset.

    2006 – 2015

    Mentor specialising in Arts and Humanities, Key Stage 3 and 4 – The Castle School, Taunton, Somerset.