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Jessica Pearless, 2024


NORTHART, Northcote, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand

The premise of ABSTRAXT ABSTRAXT was to curate an exhibition that celebrates the depth of practice inherent in Aotearoa artists work today- from a feminine perspective. A desire to present an optimistic, interconnected, collective response through an exploration of approaches by women artists led to the format of the exhibition - the purpose of the group show being to exemplify the richness of exploration occurring in the field of abstraction. 

Nina Dyer, 2024

Impure Abstraction

NORTHART, Northcote, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand

The latter part of the 20th Century could be largely characterised by a dialectic between proponents of straight formalism and expressivism of a more spiritual nature, one which continues throughout the multifarious threads of abstract practice coexisting here and now. This may not be the new world imagined by the avant-garde, but one thing is for sure: the timelessness of abstraction owes itself to its inherently generative contradictions, which continue to give rise to myriad possibilities in the realm.

Angela Rowe, 2023

Figure and Ground, making meaning in the Anthropocene

The Shutter Room, Whangarei, Aotearoa New Zealand

“This physical and conceptual sharing of space is present in the works by Deborah Crowe, her experience of living and working in cities brings to the fore the relationships she sees in the hard edges of the city and the way plants and organisms colonise and embed themselves in our landscapes. Plants soften the boundaries by eroding the edges and spaces between, humans curtate the plants they share an environment with, both indoors and out.”

Deborah Crowe Visual Artist, 2022

Creative Matters Podcast

1hr 26min

“It’s always been quite complex and related to frameworks;  there’s often a reference to some kind of containing of the body or architectural form and then alongside those elements there is a reference to the natural world. As I got to be an observer of the built world, I look at how we respond to city environments, the merging of nature and the built environment has become more important.”

Leanne Moore, 2018

Artistic Sensibilities 

GOOD magazine #60, Aotearoa New Zealand


“In general, when I think about establishing composition and character I would summarise it like this: I like pushing against and disrupting the system in some instances, but have areas where respect of craft, or design history, or other associations kick in and I flip back to being a little more rigid. It’s all about creating balance.”

Peter Dornauf, 2017

INK at Railway St Studios, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand

Critic Te Arohi, Otago University, Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand


“Deborah Crowe does a similar collaged and layering effect to present her own ecological leitmotif. Dense foliage-like forms crowd her canvas and overlay hints of architectural shapes as if nature has invaded the city with vengeful overgrowth. The resultant textural images becomes an almost lush abstract expressionist palette.”

Don Abbott, 2017


Railway St, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand.


“…Crowe casts doubt on what we know ought to be true, seeming to imply that plant life can feed off a toxic swamp; she positions the archetypal bloom as a parasitic beauty, one that perhaps cannot be trusted. An Other World: Slip, is an all-over exploration of fecundity fuelled by architectural ruins, a Mediterranean Gormenghast that hovers between dream and nightmare, depending on where and for how long you look.”

Carole Shepheard, 2014


Nathan Homestead, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand


"Rather than focusing exclusively on the migratory artist and her or his personal journey, Wansolwara opens up the question of how concept, process and performance might themselves be considered a migratory act – an action of intent if you will from one point (or situation) to another."

Karl Chitham, 2014

Phantom City 

Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa, Aotearoa New Zealand 


"Changes to the way we interact with each other and the planet have radically shifted perceptions of self and community, which has in turn been reflected in the urban spaces we create. We have sky scrapers as tall as mountains, forests on rooftops and entire neighbourhoods below ground, but if we were to all disappear tomorrow what would be left behind in the spaces we inhabit?"

John Hurrell, 21st March, 2014

Complex and Intricate Crowe


“There is an embracing of chaos, a sense of wild abandon where control appears to be slipping away. Within it there’s a density of laid-over shaped mark, and intricacy of detail, that you could almost call ‘painterly’ - not in surface tactility (as if on the paper) but in richness of minute detail (its density) and acuity.”

John Hurrell, 1st December, 2012

Grating and Seductive


"There is a shifting spatial dimension to this aural sculpture. The volume varies and is not unrelenting or physically excruciating, and is close to the ring oscillators used by a composer like Stockhausen. It's industrial with its scrapings, squawks and rattles, but not aggressive or hideously shrill, just consistently intricate with its rippling layering."

Tessa Laird, 26th November 2012

The Apparatus

Artspace, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand


"Coming up the Artspace stairwell, viewers are transformed into listeners. A low rumble might be the sound of distant warfare or seismic unrest. Equally, it could be the sea, with its brooding, inexorable power, as it ebbs, flows, and eddies out of the Mezzanine trapdoor. [Eddy] II is named after the movement of waves, in this case, sound and radio waves. The punning personification is deliberate, for [Eddy] II is an entity, part animal, part machine, prowling the confines of the Mezzanine."

David Eggleton, 2012

Review of [Eddy] 

Art New Zealand #143, Blue Oyster Project Space, Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand


"...a minimalist, reductive audio installation in a small, bare reverberant room that resulted in impressive aural architecture. With its mosaic of beeping, whirring, drilling, grinding and polishing noises, [Eddy] created a subliminal presence, the very simulacrum of some robotic laboratory or workshop"

Zoe Walker, 2012

Investing in Visual Interests

New Zealand Herald, Auckland Aotearoa New Zealand


“Artist Deborah Crowe shares her unique aesthetic from shoes to doggie bags.”

KIm Knight, 2011

Having us in Stitches

Sunday Star Times, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand


“Crowe collects words. Oxymorons, spoonerisms, snippets of conversation, television scripts and historic facts, which are then embroidered on to fabrics purchased to complement – or contradict – the text.”

Lynda Tyler, 2011

Words Are Not Enough

Objectspace, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand 


“Crowe takes the idea of a sampler, the traditional mode for displays of technical virtuosity in textiles, and hoists it into the realm of conceptual art. In so doing, she mixes it up for the modern world, sampling sound bites, lyrics and critical commentary to layer meaning over material.”

Liesbeth den Besten, Lotte MenkmanWarwick FreemanPeter Deckers and Carole Shepheard

Jewellery Out of Context 

JOC Publishing, 2006


“Traditionally, faceting is used to exploit optical properties of a precious stone in order to increase its appearance of brilliance. In this series of work, fabricated jewel-like frameworks reference both popular and exclusive purveyors of 'bling’. Small interior spaces are constructed, reflected and refracted to represent an infinite fantasy, an obsessive frame of mind and a self-confessed attraction and appreciation of being seduced by jewellery.”

Tessa Laird, 11th June, 2005

The Future Looms

The Listener, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand


"...the space is unrecognisable as you navigate door and window frames, false walls and panes of glass wrapped with coloured nylon. The nylon stripes have been videoed and cast coloured shadows over glass panes, reminiscent of Len Lye’s dancing verticals in A Colour Box. After wandering around the altered room, I felt as if I was in a fairground funhouse where floors and walls are designed to discombobulate."

Sarah Treadwell, April 2005

Architectural Fabrications: Deborah Crowe's [Construct]

Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Pakuranga, Manukau City, Aotearoa New Zealand


“Crowe’s work is an architectural weaving that makes visible the textile nature of our architecture and the architectural nature of fabrication. She throws stainless steel lines across the space of the gallery and stitches (with wooden packers) her frames to the wall. [Construct] is a work that acknowledges the part of the world in which it is situated; the Pacific, in which woven architecture is an originary condition and weaving is an architectural act.”

Mark Kirby, April 2005

Untitled Construction 

Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Pakuranga, Manukau City, Aotearoa New Zealand


"[Construct] is a large installation made primarily of wood-framed barriers or walls that investigates the relationship between textile construction and architecture. In the past, I have described Crowe’s work as an enigma, and suggested that it has an identity crisis, in that I was never certain how to categorise it. With [Construct] my uncertainty is more extreme, in that as well as the plethora of creative forms that confront me, there is also a labyrinth type construction, created by a series of passageways and spaces that go no where in particular, that have no definitive experience to offer. I am now wondering if the enigma of Crowe’s work, and its identity crisis, has developed into a form of psychosis."

Mark Kirby, 2002


Art School Press, Manukau School of Visual Arts, Aotearoa New Zealand


“Crowe’s work is multi-faceted, in a way that acknowledges the complex context within which art is made and viewed. The shiftiness of Crowe’s work, its refusal to be pinned down is often its point.”

Rhoda Fowler, 2000


Fisher Gallery, Pakuranga, Manukau City, Aotearoa New Zealand


“Suspended between floor and ceiling, projected and drawn; repositioned and then re-projected onto wall surfaces to explore two and three dimensional modes of artistic presentation, shift is an amalgam of sculpture, drawing, installation, presence and absence and between all of these.”

Mark Kirby, 1999


Art School Press, Manukau School of Visual Arts, Aotearoa New Zealand


“Crowe presents a new twist to an old argument about identity in the visual arts that has been philosophised in various ideological forms since antiquity.”

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