Deborah Roberts in Conversation for 'Coffee Chat' with Big Medium
On Thursday 15 July, Big Medium's 'Coffee Chat' hosted Deborah Roberts in conversation with fellow Austin-based artist Betelhem Makonnen. Scroll down to watch a recording of the conversation below.
Big Medium is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting artists and building a sense of community through the arts in Austin and across Texas. The 'Coffee Chat' series features leaders in the creative community sharing their personal and professional experiences to inspire others pursuing a career in art.
Deborah Roberts was born in Austin, Texas, USA in 1962 where she continues to live and work. Roberts' use of collage reflects the challenges encountered by young black children as they strive to build their identity, particularly as they respond to preconceived social constructs perpetuated by the black community, the white gaze and visual culture at large. Combining a range of different facial features, skin tones, hairstyles and clothes, Roberts explains that, “with collage, I can create a more expansive and inclusive view of the black cultural experience.”
Born in Ethiopia in 1972, Betelhem Makonnen, currently lives and works in Austin, Texas. Working with a variety of mediums that include video, photography, and installations, she researches questions on perception, presence, and place. In addition to her practice, she is an active member of the Austin-based contemporary arts collaborative Black Mountain Project.