Survey  2016
etching, engraving, roulette, drypoint, intaglio
56.5 x 55 cm, edition 20

Survey is part of a series of work whereby I seek to avoid the stigma of sentimentality in my images of the dog by relating and depicting the dog outside of the boundaries of the typical pet/owner, dominant/submissive association.

Integral to the work and the avoidance of the sentimental is the treatment of the pictorial space within the image. The image of the dog inhabits a space devoid of distraction. Where something that has possibly been perceived as ordinary, the dog now becomes emblematic and somewhat sculptural. As the dog is removed from a world of detail so the dog itself can lack detail and display a certain degree of abstraction: we see less, so we imagine more.

The non-specific space the dog inhabits confers ambiguity whilst at the same time, their very presence is certain.

As the dog is a black silhouette, both the pictorial space is a void and the dog is a void, both present and absent. As a result, creating images on copper plate allows for a journey by which I see the image evolve. This perhaps is a parallel analogy when viewing a dog, where the layers of construction of an artwork are similar to the layers of engagement required in order to understand a dog.

We see the dog as an individual but ultimately, we are made aware that we struggle, in Western society to allow an animal to be an animal. 

A significant question I seek to address is how do we conceive of animals as their own beings if we are unable to see them except in relationship to ourselves?

— Deborah Williams 2021

Courtesy the artist and Australian Galleries

Artist bio