Artist in Focus - Deborah Azzopardi
The London based artist Deborah Azzopardi emerged from a background in commercial art, where her clients included household names such as Bovril, Bisto and Disney. It was enjoyable but demanding work, and after a serious illness some years ago she decided to concentrate on painting subjects that really meant something to her, reasoning that ‘Life’s short, and if you do what you love then everything else will eventually fall into place’. Her mother was a fashion designer at Jaeger and Deborah believes that this is where much of her creativity derives from.
Deborah works in acrylic, usually on board or canvas, and claims that her sense of mischief and black humour inspires much of her subject matter. She has reached worldwide recognition over the last few years with her iconic ‘Sshh’, which recently went on sale for £350,000 as part of her 35th anniversary retrospective exhibition.
Has your art matured with you?
Experience is the best teacher of all. It has taught me that my whole self, emotions and thoughts, are ‘in’ my work. I think that’s what makes art powerful and reaches out to others. I wouldn’t like to be judged on any particular painting as it has taken me a lifetime of work.
Do you have a favourite piece of yours?
All of my art is my favourite! The next painting is always the best and very exciting. It’s a constant feeling of loving the piece I just finished and really loving the painting I haven’t yet started or maybe that I’m working on.
How quickly do you work?
I work slowly although I think at top speed, I can’t paint fast. Each painting can take 3 to 4 months to complete and that doesn’t include the preparation.
How do you feel when you work?
I am totally relaxed when working. Radio and audio books are wonderful company. There are many phone disruptions but my biggest distraction is the fridge.