Debra Powell

Debra Powell, Waikato

Debra Powell lives in the rural Waikato hamlet of Te Pahu, making pots and planting trees on a small plot of regenerating bushland. 

She has been making and exhibiting her clay work since the early 1990s and was involved in setting up Waikato Artist Collectives 'Where the Wild Things Are' and 'LEFT Maker's Collective'. 

For a time she wandered off into the world of academia, emerging with degrees in New Zealand history and a doctorate in crime history and homicide studies. Eventually though, she found her way back to the gentle art of clay squishing, returning to the studio as 'Little Betty'.

Betty's style is narrative and introspective and is most at home in the world of dreams. Now surrounded by tens of thousands of the baby trees planted and nurtured over the years, it's no surprise that Betty dreams about trees ... and the shape-shifting folk that might (or might not) live among them.