MVA (SCA USyd), BVA (SCA USyd), DipArts VisArts (SCA USyd)
Debra Phillips studied at Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney, completing a Master of Visual Arts (Research) in 1990. Although photography is central to her practice, Phillips’ work also ranges across other forms such as sculptural objects, moving images, artist’s multiples and printed matter (including books, prints and newspapers).
Phillips’ practice focuses on her interest in systems of knowledge and understanding and their relationship to the making, thinking and shaping of individual and world views. These ideas are explored through recurring themes such as the indeterminacy of the physical world, the limitations of imperial quests for knowledge, disappearance and obsolescence.
Her art examines the actions of photography as a wilful, aberrant and imperfect form of record that partakes in the processes of everyday history-making. Her exhibitions draw attention to the nature of photography – its structures of representation, convention and classification – and the way it supposedly records the real world. The idea that photography can operate as a physical space in which to place things for consideration or as a structure through which we can critique the world has preoccupied Phillips throughout her career.