deborah harris was born in Toronto. Her view of personal history is that you don’t need to know the details of a person's life in order to perceive the wholeness those experiences have given shape to. So saying, she describes herself as someone who has learned through rigorous observation of self, of others and of the inner and outer world. Through drawing, painting and collage she is able to explore further those perceptions as they manifest in a gesture of now.
She left formal school at sixteen, travelled to Africa and Greece and upon her return she completed teachers training in Yoga and in massage therapy.
She returned to school in 1989, majoring in set and costume design at Ryerson Theatre School. She was teacher and custodian with Nusa Prijatelj of the Annex Art Centre in Toronto. Her first five shows were at the Annex Art Centre.
In 1998 she was asked to take the position of Artist in Residence at Gallery Arcturus, a position that was created to enable her to work in the gallery, giving workshops to groups and meeting with those who choose to inquire into the nature of objective art.