McKay’s practice is rooted in nature and inspired by the repetition of formal elements found within plants and animals. The layering of clay in her work is revealing of the time and patience required to slowly mould, form, and engineer each work. It is the process of working with the clay and building each piece that McKay find meditative and cathartic.
The simplicity of the material, the monochromatic colour scheme, minimal use of glaze and lustre, repetition of forms and the time implied within each work evokes a feeling of the clarity and beauty found within nature. There is an intrinsic connection between the qualities of these clay forms and the living things in our natural environment. Both are malleable and durable, yet simultaneously so incredibly fragile. McKay’s work seeks to underline this paradox and highlight the beauty which is found within it.
Bio Deb McKay
Working in Fashion and Interiors for 20 years, as a Buyer and Merchandiser.
2020 Group Show Sala Smartart Gallery (First exhibition)
2020 Highly Commended Waterhouse Natural Science Exhibition South Australian Museum (Emerging Category)
2021 Winner Sculpture Prize Victor Harbor Art Show
2021 Group Show Sala Smartart Gallery “Lost and Found”
2021 Finalist Orange Mini Series Art Prize
2021 Finalist Centre for Creative Health Art Prize
2021 Finalist ‘Little Things Art Prize” St. Cloche Gallery Sydney.
2021 “The girls are back” Group Exhibition, The Strand Gallery, Port Elliot.
Deb McKay has worked in Fashion and Interiors for 20 years before she came to ceramics. Her history in these artistic fields have led her to explore, tone, texture, repetition, pattern, symmetry and design, it is with these skills that she was drawn to an artistic practice. Largely self-taught, McKay began working with clay in October 2018. In this short space of time, she has exhibited her ceramics in group shows at Smartart Gallery for SALA in Adelaide and has received acclaim in the prestigious 2020 Waterhouse Natural Science Exhibition at the South Australian Museum receiving a highly commended award. McKay is held in a number of private collections both nationally and internationally.