Born in 1954 North Curl Curl, Sydney, Deborah Vaughan is a Sydney-based artist known for her three-dimensional and installation art practice, which has included sound, video and digital photography. Her recent interdisciplinary projects have focused on an exploration of the production of place through relational means and the resulting social and political issues.
“'Here Now: The Water Project: Shared Resources’ is a nuanced account of the artist’s sojourn documenting teams of bush regenerators working along the tributaries to the Upper Parramatta River catchment, a fragment of Sydney’s river and salt marsh waterways. The artist’s occupancy of a shop in a commercial arcade was a discrete appendix to 'Currents 08: Sculpture Projects in the River City’, an exhibition aiming to show the connections between a river and the people.“1
Other water projects are 'Undermining Rivers’, about the threat posed by long-wall coal mining to Sydney’s drinking water (The Cross Art Projects, Sydney, 2007) and the video work 'Train Schizzes’, highlighting a social ambivalence about our need for a cheap coal fix (Art Environment Activism, Campbelltown Art Gallery, 2007). The installations, 'Island’ (The Cross Art Projects, 2006) and 'eye full’ (Tin Sheds Gallery, University of Sydney, 2004) refer to refugee detention centres and question levels of surveillance and concomitant violence used to maintain ideals of national identity.
Vaughan began exhibiting in 1986 and has been included in national survey exhibitions such as 'Perspecta’ at the Art Gallery of NSW (1991) and 'Sound in Space’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (1995). In 2000 she was awarded a commission for site specific art work by the South Sydney Council. In 2004 Vaughan began teaching Site Specific Art in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Sydney.
Her work is included in public and private collections.