b. 1972, West Chester, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
Lives and works in Adelaide, South Australia.
Deborah Paauwe was born in December of 1972 in West Chester, Pennsylvania, United States of Chinese and Dutch heritage. During her childhood she travelled the world with her missionary parents and two brothers and in 1985 moved to Australia with her family. In 1994, Deborah graduated from the South Australian School of Art, University of South Australia with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Visual Arts) and in 2000 completed her MA in Fine Art Degree at the Chelsea School of Art, London. Deborah Paauwe exhibits regularly and widely and is presently based in South Australia with her artist husband Mark Kimber and son Dash.
“Whether portraying an image of a girl tying a ribbon on her friend's pony tail, an adult woman's legs entwined with those of a girl, or two nude women lying side by side under see-through fabric, Deborah Paauwe's photographs are hauntingly mysterious.”
(excerpt from Deborah Paauwe: Beautiful Games (book review) by Penny Craswell, 2004
|SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS|
|2015||Penumbral Tales, Flinders University Art Museum & City Gallery, Adelaide, Australia|
Wall Power: Significant Contemporary Australian Photography & Photomedia, Michael Reid, Sydney, Australia
Just Paper, Maitland Regional Art Gallery, New South Wales, Australia
Highlights from the MGA Collection, Monash Gallery of Art, VIC, Australia
springART, Loreto College, Adelaide, Australia (Feature Artist)
|2014||Photo LA, Queensland Centre for Photography stand, LA Mart, Los Angeles, USA|
Seventh Skin, Hatch Contemporary Art Space, Ivanhoe, VIC, Australia
Shimmer Photography Festival 2014, Onkaparinga Gallery, The Arts Centre, Port Noarlunga, SA, Australia
Not Just a Pretty Face, Adelaide Town Hall, Adelaide, Australia
|2013||Revealed2: CollectorSpace, Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide, Australia|
Under My Skin: contemporary Australian photography from the Corrigan Collection, Rockhampton Art Gallery, QLD, Australia
Blue and Pink Phenomenon, The Substation Centre for Art & Culture, VIC, Australia
NEWv3: Selected recent acquisitions, UQ Art Museum, QLD, Australia
10 Years: 30 Residencies, Turner Galleries, Perth, Australia
In[Two]Art, touring exhibition, Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, NSW & Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery, VIC, Australia
|2012||Deep Space: new acquisitions from the Australian art collection, Art Gallery of SA, Adelaide|
Art Stage Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, (Greenaway Art Gallery Stand)
In[Two]Art, touring exhibition, SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney and Orange Regional Gallery, NSW
|2011||Black Box White Cube, the Arts Centre, Melbourne|
Group exhibition, Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania
|2010||Imagining the Everyday, Pingyao International Photography Festival, China|
Snapshot, Latrobe University Museum of Art (MUNA), Melbourne
In[two]art, Maitland Regional Art Gallery, NSW
|2009||Group exhibition, Chaffers Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand|
2000+ Contemporary Works from Bendigo Art Gallery, Latrobe Regional Gallery, VIC
Fashion loves Art, L'oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, Melbourne and touring
roadmovies, 2009 Adelaide Film Festival, Contemporary Art Centre of SA, Adelaide
Opening exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Vertigo, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne
|2008||Opening exhibition, Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, Tenerife, Spain|
The truth of the matter, Monash Gallery of Art, VIC
Chaos and Revelry, Counihan Gallery In Brunswick, Victoria
2008 Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Qld
Artissima, ART14, Art Fair, Torino, Italy, in association with Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.
|2006||onetoeightandcounting, SALA Festival exhibition, Light Square Gallery, Adelaide.|
Dutch Under, Canvas International Art, Netherlands.
Back to Back, AWI photographic exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
Light Sensitive: Contemporary Australian Photography from the Loti Smorgon Fund, The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square, Melbourne.
Crash (and other earthly pleasures), 2006 Perth International Arts Festival, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, The University of Western Australia.
Changeling, Australian Centre for Photography touring exhibition, Hobart City Council Carnegie Gallery, TAS and Latrobe Regional Gallery, VIC.
Ex[posed], photographic images of the body, La Trobe University Art Museum, VIC.
|2005||The Children's Hour, Museum of New Art (MONA), Michigan, USA.|
Citigroupe Private Bank Australian Photographic Prize exhibition, high commendation, Art Gallery of NSW.
Untold Stories, Warrnambool Art Gallery, Vic.
|2004||Surface Tension, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney|
Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia
Universal Playground, 2004 Adelaide Festival of Arts, Adelaide, South Australia
|2003||A Mix, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide|
Naarden Foto Festival, Netherlands
Gold Coast Ulrick Schubert Photographic Award, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Queensland
City of Hobart Art Prize 2003, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Tasmania
Hermanns Art Award, Christine Abrahams Gallery, Melbourne and touring Australia
Second Sight, Brisbane City Gallery, Brisbane City Hall, Brisbane
ACT XII: new works on paper, Victorian Arts Centre, George Adams Gallery, Melbourne and touring
Recent works from 2002, Riddoch Art Gallery, Mt Gambier, South Australia; Watch This Space, Alice Springs, NT
Photographica Australis, touring to major galleries and museums throughout Asia
Fotonoviembre 2003, photographic biennial, Centro de Fotografía, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
|2002||Goldcoast Ulrick Schubert Photographic Award, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Queensland|
Melbourne Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
32 nd Alice Prize, The Araluen Centre for Arts & Entertainment, Alice Springs
Conrad Jupiters Art Prize, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Queensland
Hermes Photography Project, 476 Pitt Street, Sydney
Photographica Australis, Sala de Exposiciones del Canal de Isabel II, Madrid, Spain
|2001||The Syntax of Style, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney|
Telling Tales: The Child in Contemporary Photography, touring Australia
Shoot!, Australian Photography from the Corrigan Collection, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Queensland
City of Hobart Art Prize 2000 Exhibition, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Tasmania
2001 National Photographic Purchase Award, Albury Regional Art Centre, New South Wales
SALA Week ‘01 Exhibition, Art Gallery of South Australia
Fotonoviembre 2001, photographic biennial, Centro de Fotografía, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
|2000||MA Fine Art Exhibition, Chelsea School of Art, The London Institute, London, UK|
Telling Tales: The Child in Contemporary Photography, Monash University, VIC and touring Australia
Young New Artists, Gallery Luis Adelantado, Valencia, Spain
Chemistry, Art in South Australia 1990-2000, Art Gallery of South Australia
Melbourne Art Fair 2000, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
Defiling the Object, Gabriel Gallery, VIC; The Substation Gallery, Singapore
|1997||The Measured Room, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia|
AGFA National Photographic Award Exhibition, Albury Regional Art Centre, New South Wales
The Hutchins School Art Prize Exhibition, The Long Gallery, Tasmania
EVA ‘97, Emerging Visual Arts Exhibition, Pulteney Grammar School, Adelaide
1998 ACAF 6, Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
Defiling the Object, Nexus Multicultural Arts Centre, Adelaide
The 1998 Alice Prize, The Araluen Centre for Arts & Entertainment, Alice Springs
1999 Moët & Chandon Touring Exhibition, AGSA, AGNSW, NGA, RMIT Gallery, Australia
ARCO ’99, International Art Fair, Madrid, Spain ( Greenaway Art Gallery Stand)
The Measured Room, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne
SALA Week ‘99 Exhibition, Art Gallery of South Australia
We are Australian, Melbourne International Festival of the Arts Exhibition, George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre
…and all things nice; These Anxious Moments… These Anxious Times, Nexus Multicultural Arts Centre, Adelaide
Picture This, SATEP Touring Exhibition, touring throughout Australia
The Child Within, Adelaide Central Gallery
National Photographic Purchase Award Exhibition, Albury Regional Art Centre, New South Wales.
|1996||Hearsay: new photo artists, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney|
|1995||Recent Acquisitions, Moët & Chandon Art Acquisitions Fund Exhibition, Art Gallery of Western Australia|
Adelaide University, South Australia, Australia
Albury Regional Art Centre, New South Wales, Australia
Araluen Centre for the Arts, Northern Territory, Australia
Art Gallery of South Australia
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Artbank, New South Wales, Australia
Australia Council for the Arts, New South Wales, Australia
Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria, Australia
BHP Billiton Collection, Melbourne, Australia
Cabildo Insular de Tenerife, Spain
Canvas International Art, Netherlands
City of Onkaparinga, South Australia
Collection of Anthony and Heather Podesta, USA
Corrigan Collection, New South Wales, Australia
Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia
Fundacion Pi y Margall, Madrid, Spain
Geelong Art Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Queensland, Australia
Horsham Regional Art Gallery, Victoria, Australia
La Trobe University Art Collection, Victoria, Australia
Maitland Regional Art Gallery, New South Wales, Australia
McClelland Gallery, Victoria, Australia
Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne, Australia
Moreland City Council, Melbourne, Australia
Murdoch University, Perth, Australia
National Gallery of Australia, Australia
National Gallery of Victoria, Australia
National Museum of Women in Arts, Washington, DC, USA
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australia
Newcastle Gallery, New South Wales, Australia
Queen Victoria Museum, Tasmania, Australia
Queensland Centre for Photography, Queensland, Australia
Reg & Sally Richardson Collection, New South Wales, Australia
Riddoch Art Gallery, South Australia
Samstag Collection, University of South Australia
St Peter’s College, South Australia
St Peter’s Collegiate Girls School, South Australia
Sussan Corporation Collection, Melbourne
University of Queensland Art Collection, Queensland, Australia
Victorian Arts Centre, Victoria, Australia
Wesfarmers Collection, Perth, Australia
Wilderness School, South Australia
[ book review: Deborah Paauwe: Beautiful Games By Wendy Walker Wakefield Press ]
Whether portraying an image of a girl tying a ribbon on her friend's pony tail, an adult woman's legs entwined with those of a girl, or two nude women lying side by side under see-through fabric, Deborah Paauwe's photographs are hauntingly mysterious.
Undeniably beautiful images, they are mysterious not only individually, because the faces of the subjects are always hidden, but also through their juxtaposition - her photographs show little girls, adolescents and women (sometimes their ages are unclear) - little girls dressing up to be "grown up" and adult women in fairytale costumes.
All of the images also convey varying degrees of implied eroticism - they show women sharing beds with little girls (which implies a sleep-over or mother/daughter relationship) and with each other.
None of the images of girls is actually erotic and all could be interpreted as innocent, but the similarity of innocent sleep-over images containing little girls and erotic images of mature women sharing a nude embrace are deliberately confusing.
Paauwe has admitted that in her images "there is a delicate balance between voyeurism and something that could be perceived as more disturbing".
In this new monograph of Paauwe's work, Wendy Walker discusses these issues of "the gaze" and voyeurism, placing Paauwe's work within the context of feminist and post-feminist theory. She discusses the similarity of her work to that of artists such as Cindy Sherman who first experimented with "filmic" photography and also points out how Paauwe's life experiences and exploration of femininity from girlhood through adolescence and on to womanhood have come to influence her work.
This book also shows some of Paauwe's new work in the series "Chinese Whispers". In this new work, for the first time, the girls' faces are painted and, although face-painting is ordinary for children and quite innocent, there is a sinister quality to these images, as if Paauwe wants to show us the faces she has been hiding for so many years as bestial.
The themes of games in earlier images like Glass Slipper and Slipperless are repeated in images of doll houses and there is a new open eroticism to paintings such as Tangled Whisper, featured on the cover of the book.
Here, the intimacy between the two adult women is not covered by a layer of cloth - it is out in the open, if privately shared between the two.
Paauwe has come a long way since the initial innocence of her earliest photographs - the portrayal of individual girls at play.
It seems that her work has evolved from a simple evocation of her childhood to a more sophisticated look at the stages of childhood, adolescence and womanhood, including an increasingly open and up-front sexuality and eroticism.
Penny Craswell, 2004
Penny Craswell is an arts writer and communications manager for the National Association for the Visual Arts.
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