Debbie Symons’ works link statistical databases on endangered species to elucidate environmental crime, questioning the involvement of capitalistic venture in the critical, global environmental issues now emerging. Conceptually Symons’ works aim to sensitize a desensitize society. She recaptures ‘peer-reviewed’ data and forces it back into the public sphere, creating an analysis of real time environmental predicaments. The works critique capitalism’s participation in the ecological predicament, highlighting its ‘cost’ to humanity and other species. It thereby enables the works to embody political potency and urgency, allowing them to move beyond a simplistic representation of ‘damaged nature’, to a multifaceted analysis of cause and effect. Symons collaborates with scientific organisations, such as the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species to facilitate the statistical data pertaining to her works.
Symons’ works have been shown internationally through the International Urban Screen Association and nationally; Urban Screen Federation Square, Melbourne, Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts, RMIT Gallery, Project Space RMIT, Albury Digital Outdoor Gallery, Craft Victoria, Trocadero Art Space, Shifted Gallery, c3 Contemporary Art Space, Monash University Faculty Gallery and The Substation. Symons’ was awarded the [MARS] gallery prize in the 2014 inaugural Linden Art Prize.
In 2009 she received Australia Council for the Arts New Work grant and has recently completed her PhD titled, Anthropocentrism, Endangered Species and the Environmental Dilemma at Monash University with the support of an Australian Postgraduate Scholarship.