Deborah De Angelis has been immersed in the art world from a young age. As a child, she was welcomed into her dad’s studio with open arms and encouraged to play, experiment and soak up the creativity. It was a safe space where she could be herself.
“I had an idyllic childhood. My dad was an art lecturer and artist who always had his studio door open. Dad let us play in there; it was like a rumpus room. He never told us what to do and was always happy to have us around his artwork.”
While Deb’s formative years were peppered with love and comfort, there have also been deeply unsettling times when her life has been filled with danger and uncertainty.
“You certainly don’t know what life has in store, do you? I had a beautiful upbringing and life, then I married a man who was deeply traumatised. He went to prison for a time then was eventually deported.”
The journey of healing was long and tumultuous for Deb and her family, and she’s discovered there are no quick fixes.
“I’m not one to say we clicked our fingers and suddenly life was beautiful again. That’s not how it works. I have many scars that no one can see. I have claustrophobia and anxiety that sometimes threaten to consume me. But I’m painting every day – would that have happened without this trauma?”
Painting has been a constant passenger in Deb’s life, something she turns to when times are tough and relishes during sunnier days. Her use of colour is something to behold.
“Colour is where I get my deepest breath from. If I’m in a house and they have bland furniture, I feel like I can’t breathe. As soon as colour comes in, I can breathe again. I love using my dining table to create my art, as then I can have my artworks ‘talk’ to me when I walk past, and let me know what they need. I can keep adding to them until they’re finished because I’m always looking at them! I love the whole process.”
|Deborah De Angelis' creative workspace complete with artworks and supplies.
Deb is delighted to have sold both her pieces at the 2021 Recovered Futures Art Exhibition. The exhibition, she says, is a vital fixture on the art scene and means so much to so many.
“I’m not a self-promoter, I wouldn’t be over here saying, ‘look at my art!’ Through the exhibition, we are given space to shine. I absolutely love the Recovered Futures Art Exhibition – you can always rely on it being there. It’s a constant for us artists.”
There’s no denying Deb is an optimist by nature, but to hear the triumph in her voice – while knowing what she’s been through – seems like nothing short of a little miracle. She’s happy to share the lessons she’s learnt through her darkest days.
“You don’t want to go through this, but you do learn a lot when you go through it. I was a compassionate person before, but my empathy and compassion has expounded. Life is a learning journey and I’ve learned that you really have no idea what someone else is going through.”
“All I can say is beauty comes from the ashes.”