Darebin Art Collection


Public Description: 

Penny Byrne's sculptural works are politically charged, highly engaging and often disarmingly humorous. Using materials such as bronze, glass, vintage porcelain figurines and found objects, Byrne's work presents an ongoing inquiry into popular culture and international politics. Her background in ceramics conservation and the law informs her practice. Byrne's ability to work across varying mediums and scales exemplifies how she challenges the boundaries and assumptions around her art.

In 2015 Byrne exhibited in Glasstress Gotika a collateral event of the 56th Venice Biennale.

Darebin Creek

Public Description: 

Shannon Smiley was commissioned to create this painting in 2017. As part of his research he explored Darebin Creek and surrounds. He explains the inspiration behind his new work. ‘I'm enjoying making this work and becoming intimate with the Darebin area. I’ve been exploring the edge lands of Darebin, chasing down historically significant sites I've heard about, like the U.S. military bunkers and the place where the Batman treaty was signed.’ he said. Smiley looks to the Australian suburban environment for places of enchantment. In the overlooked and undefined spaces without purpose or function, a wilderness grows with an urgent will to live. Smiley’s works are romantic depictions of contemporary landscape.

Shannon Smiley is a graduate of VCA. His practice has been acknowledged through a number of significant awards including Metro Art Prize (winner, 2012) and the John Leslie Art Prize (winner, 2014). Shannon recently won the People´s Choice Award for the inaugural Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize 2015. His work is held in public and private collections including the Ballarat Art Gallery and Gippsland Art Gallery.

Torrent, Slipstream, Wanderer

Public Description: 

Claire Mooney’s recent works take inspiration from textiles and quilting, bringing together fragments of colour and pattern to create images that inexorably slide from order to disorder. The works play with an ambiguity of construction and destruction. Using collage, photography, print transfer and paint, the splintered parts of nature-pattern and ornament are woven, layered and flattened together, aligning with or interrupting the other, seeking a final dissolution. Mooney was commissioned to create this new triptych in response to the local environment of Darebin.

Claire Mooney completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) at RMIT in 1999, a Master of Visual Art at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2004, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education at the University of Melbourne in 2010. She has been a practising artist for the past 15 years, and has exhibited her work regularly in solo and curated shows. Since 2006, Claire has been actively involved in the Melbourne ARI (artist run initiative) sector and most recently, Education Program Coordinator at BLINDSIDE. In addition to her ongoing arts practice, Claire currently teaches Art at Montmorency Secondary College.

She never speaks about herself, she could be anything.

Public Description: 

Lambe’s work 'She never speaks about herself, she could be anything.' was the recepient of the 2017 Darebin Art Prize. Lambe was awarded the prize by a judging panel that included Professor of Art and Performance at Deakin University, David Cross; artist Lou Hubbard and Curator of Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Claire Watson.

Cross said of Lambe’s photograph, “The winning work demonstrates an extraordinary acuity, a stunning economy of image, text, materiality and concept. It evokes a quiet but sustained resonance and captures an illusion of visual complexity and haptic experience.”

Claire Lambe completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at Bristol College of Art in 1985, followed by postgraduate studies at the University of New South Wales in 1990 and a Master of Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London in 1995. . At the invitation of Max Delany, ACCA’s Artistic Director and curator Annika Kristenson, Claire was commissioned to make a new body of work, Mother Holding Something Horrific for ACCA’s 2017 Influential Australian Artists Series and her Recent exhibitions include Miss Universal (with Atlanta Eke), Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, 2015; Strangefellows (with Lisa Young) West Space, Melbourne, 2013; Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013–14. In 2016 Lambe was awarded the Sir Edwards Trust residency in New York.

white collared

Public Description: 

The objects comprising the White Collared series are imagined artefacts informed by stories told by the artist’s family, community and documented in written histories. Harding’s work recalls the absolute power and control held over the lives of Aboriginal girls and women at Woorabinda and in many similar missions in other parts of Queensland and Australia. The collars resemble those worn by Aboriginal women and girls in the Taroom settlement west of Rockhampton. This work has particular resonance with Bundoora Homestead (being of the Queen Victorian style) and these works reference the ways Indigenous people were forced to wear collars with Victorian lace features. The lace features were thought to match the tenor and imagined propriety of the European houses that many women servants served in.

Dale Harding is a descendant of the Bidjara, Ghungalu and Garingbal peoples of Central Queensland. He grew up in the Central Queensland town of Moranbah. Harding graduated with honours from a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art at the Queensland College of Art. He has since gone to win over art critics and fans alike with his creative fusion of traditional craft forms and political and cultural themes. Harding has gained recognition for works that investigate the social and political realities experienced by members of his family, who lived under government control in Queensland around 1930.

High St (after Ruscha)

Public Description: 

Daniel Crooks’ virtuosic video-scapes have captivated audiences from across the world. In this latest work, commissioned by Bundoora Homestead Art Centre for the Darebin Art Collection, Crooks has documented his own neighbourhood in High Street, Preston, a daunting task that manifests in what the artist describes as 64 ‘worlds’ stitched together from the point where High Street intersects Dundas Street all the way up to Tyler Street. The title pays homage to American artist Edward Ruscha’s (1937-) photographic documentation of the infamous Sunset Boulevard in the city of Los Angeles. Ruscha described the city as ‘the ultimate card-board cut out town’. It is precisely the two-dimensional flatness presented in each page of Ruscha’s concertina books that is clearly referenced in Crooks’ new work.

Practising across a range of media including digital video, photography and installation, Daniel Crooks’ digital images stretch and distort reality while questioning our perception of it. A graduate of the Auckland Institute of Technology and the Victorian College of the Arts School of Film and Television, Crooks received an Australia Council Fellowship in 1997 to research motion control at RMIT. His reputation grew rapidly, with representation in important group exhibitions in Australia (including ‘Primavera 2003’ at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art) and in Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States and Asia. His work is held in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, ACMI, Melbourne, MONA, Tasmania.

The Right to Offend is Sacred (glow Red)

Public Description: 

Brook Andrew’s The Right to Offend is Sacred investigates political, cultural and social issues relating to people declaring they have the right to be bigots and express foolish/racist and clearly privileged points of view. The artwork enables a range of topics and dialogues to be explored relating to Indigenous culture, oppression and white privilege. The work is based on collages made during a residency the artist undertook in New York City in 2009. Brook Andrew’s The Right to Offend is Sacred extends upon the artist’s extensive print series Danger of Authority. The ostentatious background of the work is reminiscent of a wealthy home such as the Smith Family’s Bundoora Homestead. The text speaks of race relations – an issue that was explored in the recent exhibition ‘Re-visioning Histories’ at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre.

Brook Andrew is of the Wiradjuri people of New South Wales. An artist of considerable practice, his work often confronts and challenges cultural and historical perceptions that question conventional readings of the world. His diverse practice challenges stereotypical notions of history, identity and race, without apportioning blame or guilt. His current research includes an ambitious international comparative three year Federal Government Australian Research Council grant titled ‘Representation, Remembrance and the Memorial’ – a project designed to respond to the ongoing call for a memorial to Aboriginal loss and the frontier wars.

Rock Pools, Ormiston Gorge

Public Description: 

John Borrack is a maverick, free thinker and master craftsman. Best known for his lyrically structured paintings, Borrack’s sensitive interpretation of the Australian landscape balances the needs of technique and theory with clarity of emotional expression.

While working predominantly in watercolour and gouache, over recent years, he has exhibited his oil paintings more frequently revealing an effortless ability to move from one medium to the other. Represented in numerous collections including National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery, regional galleries, municipal councils, universities and leading corporate collections. Rock Pools, Ormiston Gorge was part of the exhibition "John Borrack: Selected Paintings and Drawings1970-2102" which exhibited at the Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre in 2012. The retrospective captured the haunting, evocative quality of Borrack’s work spanning the last four decades.


Public Description: 

The work involved a site specific performance by the artists (the carving or scarring of the tree) within the City of Darebin municipality. The material gathered from the object/subject of the performance (the wood chips) is also featured as part of the work alongside the framed photograph which informs the object and acts as a peripheral installation with the wood chips.

“The work we created centres around a statement which emerged from seemingly nowhere, about a scar tree. It relates to the nature of memory and the ways in which we place value on ‘place’ or site, both personally and culturally. With the statement as a conceptual anchor, we found ourselves engaged with an artistic process exploring the nature of site, gaze, presence, absence, law and order, authority and authorship. When thinking about the Bundoora Homestead site, we considered its history as a place including one for cultural expression from over 40,000 years ago, through to today. “

Fergus Binns is a conceptual painter whose work often explores depictions of colonial Australia and national identity. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting) from the Victorian College of the Arts. His work is held in various public and private collections.

Steven Rhall’s recent exhibitions include group show ‘Octoroon’ at Ateneo Gallery Phillipines and ‘The Outcome of Walking Slowly Downhill’, a collaboration with Domenico de Clario for the 2016 Mildura Palimpsest Biennale. His work is held in various collections including the National Gallery of Victoria and the City of Melbourne.