Stories Untold: Drawings from my time at Leeds

Remember, copyright Debbie McCarthyText and artwork by Debbie McCarthy

Nearly a decade later, I look back on my time at Leeds with fond memories.
What’s fascinating to me, now, is realizing how my memory of that time doesn’t always mesh with what I recorded. Looking at these drawings makes me realize that I didn’t simply arrive at the person I am today, it was a metamorphic struggle.

As an artist, I find myself in the role of the subject, but as a woman, the form I embody also happens to be a form that has been objectified in Western art for centuries. What does it mean for a woman to render another woman? Where does the distinction between self and other begin? Is this just another manifestation of the “urge to merge”? Is it possible for a woman to render a woman without her form being automatically placed into the system of currency that is the female body in Western art?

This body of work represents a pivotal moment in my art when I started moving away from figuration, and into abstraction. The frenetic line is indicative of the intensity I felt in that moment. Some moments are only truly understood with adequate time for reflection. Having had time to reflect, I am now sharing this work with the public for the first time. I hope you enjoy it!

Illustration (above right): ‘Remember’, pen and ink drawings on paper by Debbie McCarthy, 2001-2002 

About Debbie McCarthy
Debbie earned her Masters of Arts in Feminism and the Visual Arts from the University of Leeds in Leeds, England, and her Bachelor’s degree in 2D Fine Arts with a Fifth Year in Art History from Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia, PA. She has exhibited throughout the United States, and has received commendations for her work, which is featured in private collections. For more information, please visit

Conjure, copyright Debbie McCarthy

Conjure, pen and ink drawings on paper, by Debbie McCarthy, 2001-2002

Rebirth, copyright Debbie McCarthy

Rebirth, pen and ink drawings on paper by Debbie McCarthy, 2001-2002

Renew, copyright Debbie McCarthy

Renew, pen and ink drawings on paper by Debbie McCarthy, 2001-2002