Deborah Wargon is a composer. Whether found in her musical compositions, or her equally musical
sculptural cut-outs - to which this observation pays homage - there emits a sonic pulse of landscapes,
journeys, traces and songline petrified in black, levitating, casting shadows in a contained void of vitrines
and free floating wall hangings.
These curvaceous lines signal a primal thread between the stitching of tempo, motion, narrative and the
celebration of the fertile to arid lands. The "feminine" dominates her discourse, subliminally and
consciously. A matriarchal celebration, an ode to ancestry far and beyond, reaching to the present and
futures, both utopic and dystopian.
The series of works that occupy this publication are signatures of Wargon`s in a multifarious practice of
sculpture, sound installation, sculptural installation and moving image. In the works contained within,
figures appear in the traces of the black sculptural cut-outs, some like Cycladic fertility symbols, echoes
of global antique ancient cultures and other shapes denote the reaching of a melodic pitch, high and low,
that like music, are meditative, guiding, leading and a misleading line on a perpetual path to the string of
the next. Seductive, sensual, or sharp in composition, these works quiver in their vibrancy.
As the Spanish Filipino artist Fernando Zóbel once observed, the act of created work is not found in the
immediate partaking of the seeing, but the memory that it forms. And in Wargon's work we have personal
and reflexive memory she has committed to her sculptural traces, and in the afterburn they carry their
own personal import for the viewer, in and after it's being in its presence. Like the haunting of a melody,
They are collectively the lineage of ancestral story, myth and its universal undercurrents of sexuality,
fertility, the masculine and feminine, mirrored opposites within the void and expanse, of storytelling and
Deborah Wargon has long experimented with these forms, from watercolours with a simple vibrancy, to
white on black drawings on card and sculptural formations divorced from the cut-out in her installations
inspired by heritage, and one feels, in all these works, a haunting of a ruptured collective memory.
Wargon is tracing the line from the blind spots of her ancestry, her heritage and, umbilically, threading it
to the present in evocative, vibrant and dynamic form.
Adam Nankervis, June 2017