Deboragh Gainer (d. 2011) is probably the least known of the artists in the exhibit, and a complete understanding of her work is hard to grasp if you have not met the artist. Primarily a figurative sculptor working in terracotta, she explored other materials and disciplines including sculpting in felt and as a painter.
An active member in the 'ArtScape' known as Salt Spring Island, her work was exhibited a number of times during the last decade. In 1998, she made her first wittily sculpted felt slipper. Sometimes based on historic shoe forms, these pieces often reach exuberant expression and animation.
Other diverse work in felt included large constructions designed to be hung from the ceiling, felt wall paintings and wall installations using numerous felted 'dreads' stuck directly in the wall, protruding like the hairs on an insect body. Despite these works, she is primarily known as a sculptor in terracotta, rendering what she calls 'gestures' of people. In an artist statement she said,
"I work the clay, quickly hitting, pulling and manipulating. My intent is to keep the spontaneous moment."
She achieves success in this as her figures appear to be incomplete, a proto-form of what is to come, not quite complete in execution but containing tremendous life energy. In this the spirit of the artist comes forward and it is with honor that we take a moment to remember Deboragh and her spirit in these works.