Deborah Small

(USA, 1948)

Related Material

“At different junctures, Small transports us to the late 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries. Though the time period shifts as your eyes move across the wall, the setting remains the same: Pennsylvania. Surrounding Slocum’s words are abundant images of forested landscape and wildlife, extracted from the late 19th century engravings and John James Audubon’s paintings. They evoke the New World landscape of centuries past, as do the tree stumps and vegetation that sit in the middle of the gallery and to the left of the front door”

Pincus, Robert L. “Small World.” Night & Day, 20 Nov. 1992. Photographs by Michael Franklin

Venue: Boehm Gallery en Palomar College, San Marcos
Organizer: Linda Moore Fine Arts

San Diego-based artist Deborah Small’s project, titled Metamorphosis/Metamorfosis, explored the life and original research of seventeenth-century entomologist Maria Sybylla Merian. The installation drew on Merian’s observations as a naturalist and her prolific engraved records of flora and fauna in the Dutch colony of Surinam. Apart from the work performed by Merian, the interest for Small was in the intersection of colonizer and the colonized, created by Merian’s presence as a white European woman in a society and social system reliant on patriarchy, both at home and in the colony.

Curator: Hal Fisher
Organizer: Timken Museum of Art
Venue: Timken Museum of Art, San Diego

Deborah Small created an installation and digital presentation at the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego entitled Rowing in Eden/Remando en el Eden/Pelando en el Eden/Formando hileras. A collaboration with three other artists, the installation explored the historical relationship between women and plants, focusing on the women who became labeled as witches for their unique knowledge as herbalists or healers. The installation included dried and live plants, a digital projection with images, text and voice, and an audio installation with voice and music. It emphasized not only the women’s persecution, but also celebrated their extraordinary powers and insight into consciousness and divinity.

Curators: Jessica Bradley, Olivier Debroise, Ivo Mesquita, and Sally Yard
Venue: Santa Fe Depot, San Diego