Debra Olin is a printmaker living and working in Somerville MA. She received her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art in 1980, and has shown in exhibitions in Canada, France, Poland, Serbia, South Africa, Cuba, and across the US. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Boston Public Library, Temple Israel (Brookline MA), YIVO Institute (New York NY), The DeCordova Museum (Lincoln MA), and the Fogg Museum (Harvard University). In 2004, she was awarded the Rappaport Prize, the largest public annual award to an individual artist in New England. In 2018, she received a Massachusetts Cultural Council Finalist Award and a grant from the Berkshire Taconic Artist Resource Trust.
I am a printmaker, combining monoprint, drypoint, stencils, and collage to make both two- and three-dimensional works on and with paper and fabric. Elements are arranged on an inked plexiglass plate and run through a press. During the art making process there are three components that I try to balance and connect: the aesthetic, the technical and the conceptual. In addition, there is a collaboration with the press. There is always an element of surprise with the monoprint process. I am most intrigued with texture and layering imagery to reveal or obscure certain areas of the composition.
About This Series
These prints are involved with the body and its connection to nature. After visiting countless botanical gardens and dealing with a loved one’s battle with cancer, I began to notice similarities between plant forms and the human body’s organs and skeletal structure. I am exploring the relationship between these forms, integrating the figure into trees and botanical settings. Restructuring the human interior, I substitute and embellish forms from the natural world. We see today how intertwined we are with the planet, how all our decisions—from how we grow food to how we utilize our resources—have an impact on our health and the future.
This series starts with the woodcut; then I reconfigure the image through monoprint and collage.