World on a string.

The artist Debbie Smyth creates her vision of urban mobility.
Text: Hadassa Haack
Photos: Zac Mead

Webbed worlds.

If you think hammer and nail are for carpenters and domestic do-it-yourself only, think again. Artist Debbie Smyth “draws” stunning images by stretching thread between hundreds of pins. For mb! she created an exclusive piece of art with a mobility theme.

Looking at the image above, you maybe forgiven for thinking that you see lines drawn by pen on paper. Have a closer look and you will find that every single line is a piece of thread stretched between two nails. Some of us might find it enough of a challenge to hang a single picture and to hit the nail on the head, literally. UK-based Debbie Smyth, however, has turned it into large-scale art and her means of living.

The big picture – precisely spun.

Always on the lookout for new talent, we came across her work and were instantly impressed by her fresh approach in taking very basic, centuries old material – i.e. string and nails – and turning it into modern, urban landscapes. The results are unexpected three-dimensional images that are simply stunning. Her work features bridges, streets, houses and cars and mundane everyday objects such as a shopping trolley.

Interplay between space, time and movement.

We asked her to create a piece of art with the theme “Mobility”. Here is what she has to say about the result, which features the Mercedes-Benz Concept A-CLASS.

“Mobility is the ability to move and to depict this, in a static artwork, I needed to capture time, space, energy and motion in a spontaneous instance. I have always had an interest in utilizing spontaneity, quick time, fleeting-time and uncontrolled movement when creating. By utilizing motion and the impulsiveness of the instant moment the effect creates a blurred reality. Abstract yet recognizable, but not entirely clear. Wavering between realistic representation and abstraction, the finished work relates as much to imagination, colour and ethereal space as it does to the visible world itself. This blurry intersection of now and then creates an elasticity that alludes to the future of mobility.”

Step-by-step to the final artwork.

From passion to profession.

What is unusual about Smyth – young artists take note – is that she is diligent, reliable and exceptionally fast. She may be a very talented artist but her approach to work is clearly professional. These days, she is also lecturing and has good advice to pass on. Read the interview on mb! by Mercedes-Benz to find out!

Related topics.