Deb Fleming’s relationship with clay is ‘lifelong and committed.’
Deb spent 25 years running a business manufacturing her own designs, a range of painted terracotta wall hangers with a sea theme. She also tutored ceramic technique and has been involved in exhibitions such as the Manukau Vessel and Sculpture Exhibition and recently the Otago Potters Group Exhibition.
But Deb’s dream was to study art with a focus on ceramics. That’s how she ended up at the Dunedin School of Art doing a Masters of Visual Arts. ‘The opportunities, facilities, and support on offer at the school inspired me to move to Dunedin for the duration of my study, a decision which I have not regretted.’
Her project, titled A Brief Case of Anthropocene: Climate change and cultural identity, discusses the human condition associated with climate change. Deb describes it as ‘a narrative concerning aesthetics, and value, and an emotional response to the human condition of our time.’
The purpose of A Brief Case of Anthropocene is, ‘to find solace, within nostalgia and art.’ While the process has been challenging, Deb says it’s also been cathartic to search for understanding, empathy and direction ‘in a world turned upside down and so damaged by human conduct that humanity itself is under threat.’
First published ArtZone #81