Multi-media artist inspired by her Back Forty
Given that artist Deborah Farquharson is inspired by and makes most of her work in the Mulmur area, Curiosity House is the perfect venue for Farquharson’s first solo show, My Back Forty.
Having spent much of her weekend and vacation life in Mulmur, first at her family’s farm and now the one she shares with her husband and two sons, Farquharson’s roots in this community are deep.
“I feel whole when I’m here in Mulmur. We are raising our family in Toronto for work and financial reasons, but my heart is really here in these hills,” explains Farquharson.
At the centre of Farquharson’s creative practice is her relationship with nature and landscape. Her home studio overlooks the very fields and trails where she spends much of her time exploring and investigating. She works to capture what is extraordinary about her everyday world.
Trained originally as a photographer, Farquharson continues to rely on photography as one of the ways to research her subject matter. She has also honed her creative observation and research skills over the years of hiking and discovering the property around her. She often visits the same clumps of grass or spots in a tree line, both of which have become prominent subject matters in her work. Intrigued by how places change throughout the day, during different seasons and weather patterns, as well as over time, Farquharson often focuses on a variety of details and information to capture the essence of a place.
In her studio, she uses a range of techniques to produce her work that make the experience of art making very physical and tactile. Using a propane torch, she “paints with fire”, draws with charcoal, graphite, pens, markers, and paint among other mediums. She carves into her paintings to re-expose the raw wood of the birch panel and uses paint as a stain to allow the natural grain of the wood to show through and become part of a finished piece.
“This body of work is a collection of subjects that are familiar to me, they are things and places that I come back to over and over again,” said Farquharson. “I can really relate to the landscape, I feel a sense of belonging and an immense gratitude for the gift of inspiration that is offered by this place”.
My Back Forty is on display at Curiosity House Books from Sept. 8 to Oct. 7, and coincides with the Creemore Festival of the Arts on Sept. 29-30. The artist will be present at an opening reception from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15.
To see more of Farquharson’s work, visit www.deborahfarquharsonart.com.