Pantophobia - A New Show by Jordan Debney

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Jordan Debney is a New Zealand born, Australia-based artist with 10 years professional experience under his belt. Having created everything from socks to to streetwear graphics, Debney has been able to develop and refine his own unique creative voice which the public will be able to get to know in his upcoming show, ‘Pantophobia’.

The weird and wonderful world of ‘Pantophobia’ will open at Outre Gallery in FITZROY, 6pm on Friday, September 13th.

INTERVIEW: RUBY AVERY-DE WAAL


Tell us about ‘Pantophobia’!
The name of my show “Pantophobia” has a lot of meanings, but to sum it up you would call it “the fear of everything”. My work shows a lot of your stereotypical imagery of basically good vs bad. To me it’s metaphorical, it’s the balance which I practise most days of my life, you can’t have one without the other. I am a very literal thinker, and with this show specifically I wanted to have each piece illustrate the simple message of good vs bad. I wanted to show that because something may seem bad, it doesn’t mean that’s the limited perspective you can have. Some bad things that happen can be good, and a lot of good things that happen can be bad, and it all has to do with how you approach it, how you react. Nothing is ever 100% bad and nothing is ever 100%, nothing is that black and white, not everything has to be fearful.

The imagery throughout your works combines a clever fusion of pretty pastels and dark themes. Tell us a bit about that! Do you feel the way you compose you artworks reflects yourself?
In a way yes, and also no. I myself don’t wear much pastel colours, or if I do its’ pretty muted but that doesn’t go so far as to say I don’t like pastels, although I am heavily drawn to the darker side of life. Colour with my artwork is something I have always struggled with, so I kind of over compensated that by learning all about colour and light and how they work together to create feeling, most colours I use reflect my mood and also what’s happening in my mind as I tend to associate memories and objects with colour. It kind of made sense to me to make sure the colour I use has impact to complement what’s happening in my mind. These “darks things” in my head, it’s more a phrase than a description, these darks things are full of colour.

Is wood-cut work something you’ve exhibited much before? Tell us about the process of creating these pieces!
I have exhibited a couple pieces in New Zealand and one later last year for Outre, those pieces were extremely intricate and more of a “centrepiece” for a wall, I have intentionally made the pieces for this show to be a more customer friendly size, something you could easily imagine hanging on your wall without the heavy price tag. I’m often asked how one might be able to get their hands on one of my woodcut paintings, the opportunity is pretty rare so with this smorgasbord it’s quite the special occasion. The works for Pantophobia started out as a very rough sketch, I wanted the pieces to be able to speak for themselves as well as be apart of a whole, so all pieces had to be well thought out from the very beginning before I even touched a brush. Cutting the pieces was another challenge, using power tools with all that grunt to create a delicate piece of art sounds kind of ridiculous but with enough awareness of the blade and planning of how each corner and edge will be approached there’s no way you could fail. The key to accomplishing a large body of wood cut work lies in the planning, no planning means mistakes and a mistake could cost you your finger or your eye.


“The works for Pantophobia started out as a very rough sketch, I wanted the pieces to be able to speak for themselves as well as be apart of a whole, so all pieces had to be well thought out from the very beginning before I even touched a brush.”

- Jordan Debney


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Have you exhibited in Melbourne before? How will ‘Pantophobia’ differ from other exhibitions you’ve showed?
I have exhibited multiple paintings for various shows around the city, doing custom cut skate decks for Decks for Change is always a highlight of my year. ‘Pantophobia’ allowed me to be able to get across what I was trying to say by splitting it across multiple pieces, with each piece still retaining the message within itself. Instead of cramming it all into one piece, I was able to spread my message out across a spectrum of works without having to be so serious about it. I had a lot of fun challenging myself, and I learned a hell of a lot about my craft as well as learning a lot about myself in the process of it all.

Can people purchase your works if they can’t make it to the show?
For the out-of-towners the presale is currently live over at the ‘Pantophobia’ page on the Outre Gallery website, including all paintings and exclusive new giclee prints only purchasable through Outre Gallery during the duration of the show. Some paintings have already been picked up so its best to be quick!

Presale Link: CLICK HERE

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