Debbie Taylor-Worley is a Gamillaraay woman originally from north-west NSW and now based on the Tweed Coast. Her practice ranges from works on paper, canvas and ceramics with an emphasis on utilising natural pigments, dyes, ocean water, ochres and resins. Driven to reconnect with her heritage after the birth of her daughters, Taylor-Worley’s artwork honours the powerful carved trees (dendroglyph) of her Country, many of which have been destroyed in the colonial pursuit of agricultural land. 

Image: Debbie Taylor-Worley, Beyond Gavrinis, 2018, installation view. Canvas and mixed media (100x180) clay, sand. Photo by Andrew Willis.

Her most recent ceramic works have been female figurines - abstracted and carved with designs inspired by the dendroglyphs - portraying the strength, integrity, power, resilience and enduring nurturing creativity of womanhood. Debbie Taylor-Worley will use the $10,000 scholarship for a practice-led research trip to visit significant sites between Tamworth and Walgett NSW, reconnecting on her Country with the places of her ancestors. “Having investigated places and spaces significant to my culture and personal memories, I will be creating artwork of the landscape, in the landscape and formed by the landscape.

"Debbie Taylor-Worley's work is experimental and contains strong geometric patterns based on her Aboriginal forebears of the Gamillaraay nation” said Dr Fiona Foley, one of the 2020 Windmill Scholarship judges.