Deborah Halpern (born in Melbourne in 1957) is a public art sculptor, mosaicist and ceramic artist. Halpern lectures and conducts workshops in ceramics in Melbourne. Her parents Sylvia and Arthur Halpern, were ceramists and artists and two of the founding members of Potters Cottage in Warrandyte.
Halpern began work in ceramics as an apprentice in 1975. She studied painting, print-making and sculpture at the Caulﬁeld Institute of Technology (now Monash University) in 1979. In 1981 she had her ﬁrst solo exhibition at the Blackwood Street Gallery and has subsequently shown at the Meat Market Craft Centre; Gryphon Gallery; apart from having her work showcased at numerous other group exhibitions. She has been represented by the Christine Abrahams Gallery in Melbourne and the Arthouse Gallery in Sydney. In 1987-89, Halpern graduated with a Diploma of Visual Art from the Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education (now Monash University). The images depicted include:
Angel – One of Halpern’s most known sculptures which stood in the moat outside the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) until 2005, when it was relocated close to the Ian Potter Gallery on the banks of Melbourne’s Yarra River, at Birrarung Marr. The 10 meter tall Picasso-influenced Angel resembles a three-legged llama with more than 4000 individually cut and hand-painted ceramic tiles fixed onto its concrete and steel armature.
Ophelia (1992) is located on Southbank. Once known as the face of Melbourne, Ophelia was inspired by the character from Hamlet, full of both love and sadness. Halpern says Ophelia is the cousin of Angel,
Mali: Protector of all Animals. Mali (2012) is a gift to the children of Melbourne from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. Mali marks the celebration of the Melbourne Zoo’s 150th Anniversary and its commitment to the conservation of endangered species.
Big Bunny (2013) ceramic and glass tiles on fiberglass, steel & aluminium 160cm x 78cm x 88cm
“O’ What may man within him hide, though angel on the outward side!” – Shakespeare ‘Measure For Measure (Act III, Scene II)
“Is It Art?”