For several decades, birds have appeared in the art of Deborah Horrell as a paradigm of beauty, flight and escape. Through the investigation of avian forms and her chosen medium of glass, Horrell distills the human experience of life and death, elation and sorrow, fragility and strength: each duality a balance in the dance of life.
In the three stunning installations presented in Celebrating Beauty, Horrell examines the delicacy of life, confronts its end, celebrates its strength and beauty, and honors its richness. In the piece entitled Celebrating Beauty Horrell has created intricate enamel paintings on teardrop and feather shaped elements of glass. The glass is fabricated through a pâte de verre process in which the particles used to make the forms are still evident and produce an elegant and lacy filigree along its edges. In contrast, Celebrating Beauty: the other side features sensual cast glass forms of birds’ heads. Joan’s Cloak is a poignant momento mori to a dear friend who is no longer physically present: larger than life wings formed of pâte de verre feathers rendered in brilliant colors.
Deborah Horrell received her MFA from the University of Washington. After working as a ceramist
for many years, Horrell participated in the Pilchuck Glass School's visiting artist program in 1994. A
residency at the Bullseye Factory followed in 1996, permanently changing the trajectory of her career. The artist has shown her work, both ceramic and glass, in museums and galleries throughout the country, including the Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo, OH), the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (Louisville, KY), Racine Art Museum (Racine, WI), Museum of American Glass (Wheaton Village, NJ), and the Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR). Her work is in included in many prominent public and private collections including the Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR), the Microsoft Art Collection (Seattle, WA), the Jordan Schnitzer Collection (Portland, OR), the Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, OH), and the Tucson Art Museum (Tuscon, AZ).