Debra Tracey has created and facilitated art for over 20 years. From schools and community groups across the UK and the Isle of Man, she has produced private and public artwork and helped thousands of people connect with their creative self.
Inspired by the Celtic knot work of Archibald Knox and Manx Tartan colours, Debra is the artist behind this showstopper of a piece.
Tucked away in a private work area (donated by Kate & Simon Maddrell) for the whole of March, Debra cut, glued and grouted, to ensure Archie would be ready to join his siblings in the parade. The glass additions were kiln-fired and represent the plentiful beautiful golden gorse and fuchsias.
The end of life care and family support the IOM Hospice gave to Debra's mother and family ten years ago was outstanding. Creating Archie has enabled Debra to give a little back.
Visit Debra's Website to find out more about the artist.
Q. What initially inspired you to apply for this project?
I’d received an email from the Creative Network just a few days before the presentation at Manx Museum, then a couple of emails from mosaic artist friends, urging me to apply as I’d literally (2 weeks earlier) just moved to the island.
Q. Tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind your wallaby design, how did you settle on that particular idea?
I had a vision of Archibald Knox inspired knotwork, covering the Wallaby. I had to adjust my initial thoughts as mosaic is so time consuming but wanted to incorporate the triskel knot. I also wanted to incorporate the Manx colours and a nod towards the glorious gorse and fuchsias that are prolific here. I wanted it to be abstract but with elements that people could relate to.
Q. When you found out you’d been selected, how did you feel?
I I was elated. I had previously applied for two other Wild in Art projects, across, but was unsuccessful. I was so pleased that this one was successful as the Hospice had looked after my mum in her last weeks. It became personal, I really was happy to be able to give something back to the Hospice.
Q. Which aspect of the project were you most excited about carrying out?
Just getting stuck in and immersing myself into the work.
Q. What did you find to be the greatest challenge when creating your wallaby?
There were two, the first being that my original supplier, whom I had purchased all my resources from for the last ten years, closed down. Suddenly with no warning. I had to source a new supplier and, whereas they were totally amazing with quality and delivery, sadly they didn’t have the range of colours I was used to so I had to adapt the design a little. The grout was also a worry. Although my mosaic murals are suitable for outside, there is generally an element of protection. The guys at Tile Gallery at Balthane we’re able to suggest a resin based grout and kindly donated one of the three tubs needed.
Q. How do you hope the Wallaby project will be received on the island?
I think people will love it! People still remember the cows. It will bring people to the island for sure and more importantly, raise much needed funds for the Hospice.