Darebin Art Collection

DIM Furniture, Thomastown (Industryscapes 34)

Public Description: 

DIM Furniture, Thomastown (Industryscapes 34) is a precise and detailed industrial landscape presented to the viewer from an eye-level street perspective: a factory located in Thomastown, a northern suburb of Melbourne, comprising silos and heavy equipment together with a jumble of accumulated debris. Employing a flatness of form and colour, Senior’s watercolour palette is deliberately subtle using many colours with similar tonal values to construct a composition that reflects our understanding of a stereotypical Melbourne industrial site.

Senior’s artwork interrogates the themes of industry, suburbia and human influence over the landscape. His practice investigates the literal landscape with attention to the reduction of features achieved through colour blocking, architectural volumes and geometry to describe the human-intervened landscape. Influenced by artists such as Richard Estes (United States b.1932), Charles Sheeler (United States 1883-1965) and Jeffrey Smart (Australia 1921-2013), his work is evocative and contemplative, filled with intricate detail and informed by a passion for finding beauty in an austere built landscape.

DIM Furniture, Thomastown (Industryscapes 34) © Ken Senior

The Provider

Public Description: 

The Australian landscape, scenic backdrops, costumes, masks and theatrical settings are woven into Papapetrou’s imagery, along with themes of children role playing complex narratives of loss, innocence, body, veil and dream. Presenting these sometimes unsettling themes is the intention of the artist’s work. This large digital photographic print, The Provider, from the series Between Worlds (2009-2012), depicts two school girls, both wearing horse head masks, positioned in the foreground of a Victorian High Country location.

New Homecoming

Public Description: 

In New Homecoming, Ju-Yuen Merran Chew searches for the meaning of ‘home’ and examines the influence of her Chinese-Australian heritage in expressing her own voice. This highly personal exploration of family and identity is conveyed through the spontaneity and whimsy of childhood innocence. A young girl sits astride a large black swan - the swan and his passenger are in mid-flight - she clutches a bright red waratah in one hand and he carries a spray of common pink heath in his beak. The swan is a symbol of loyalty and strength, grace and purity, beauty and dignity. In Chinese philosophy and religion the swan is considered a solar bird and representative of yang, characterised as positive and creative, and associated with heaven, heat and light. The black swan is also widely referenced in Australian culture and is of particular spiritual significance in Indigenous history. The waratah and common pink heath are native Australian plants and are the official floral emblems for the states of New South Wales and Victoria respectively.

Ju-Yuen Merran Chew has exhibited in group exhibitions and art prizes around Victoria since receiving the Zurich Australia Scholarship (Visual Arts) in 2002. She was a winner of the Darebin Art Show (2004) and also won the Darebin Art Show People’s Choice Award (2006). Chew has held various teaching positions including Monash University teaching Drawing (Fine Art and Design) and the City of Melbourne ArtPlay programme.

New Homecoming © Ju-Yuen Merran Chew

Living History [Bundoora Homestead]

Public Description: 

In Living History [Bundoora Homestead], Ju Yuen Merran Chew fluidly captures the fleeting nature of time and movement through perceptual drawing. Her ethereal depiction of the ground floor interior of Bundoora Homestead involves the layering of images to create a space where the different qualities of textures and patterns intersect; each component changing another by its presence.

Ju-Yuen Merran Chew’s art practice is concentrated primarily around drawing. She is attracted to the visual qualities of translucency, multiplicity and complex or interconnected structures. Her interests include exploring visual perception and tactile response, subjective visual experiences, memory and drawing, and drawing and creativity. Chew has exhibited in group exhibitions and art prizes around Victoria since receiving the Zurich Australia Scholarship (Visual Arts) in 2002. She was a winner of the Darebin Art ShowLiving History [Bundoora Homestead] © Ju-Yuen Merran Chew

Fragmented

Public Description: 

Sharmane Maddigan traverses a broad range of creative expression; she is a painter, photographer, songwriter and musician. In Fragmented, a striking and self-assured photographic portrait, Maddigan explores the multi-layered issues of identity: physical and spiritual, conscious and subconscious, reality and perception.

Maddigan is a descendant of the Wamba Wamba and Wertigikia people of North-Western Victoria. She was the winner of the Gumbri White Dove Acquisitive Prize (2010) for Fragmented and was short listed for the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards (2009).

Fragmented © Sharmane Maddigan

Black Dog

Public Description: 

In Black Dog, Warren Lane conveys a sense of nostalgia for times past when Edwardian and Art Deco designed buildings were the heart and soul of a thriving neighbourhood High Street. He masterfully observes the elegant decay of derelict and depressed suburban structures as changing facades reflect their faded glory. The black dog appears to be passing his own judgement on their potential demise. Demolition is almost certain with high density housing and modern retail outlets as their future destination.

As a painter working predominantly in oils, Lane creates intricate and familiar scenes linked by themes of the built environment, politics, human rights and social change. Lane’s astute illustrative portraits and urban landscapes are skilfully structured compositions that employ a high degree of realism laced with an undercurrent of satire. His work is both thought provoking and humorous, inviting the viewer to contemplate the subject matter without pretension or distraction.

Black Dog © Warren Lane

A Brief History of Preston

Public Description: 

In A Brief History of Preston, Warren Lane powerfully distills two centuries of European settlement in Preston, a northern suburb of Melbourne located in the City of Darebin. During the colonisation of this area in the 1800s, the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri-willam people were overtaken with farming and various other pastoral activities eventually leading to the industrial and commercial developments of the present day.

An Indigenous man stands erect in the foreground of the painting, staring straight ahead as if looking into the future or perhaps it is the past. Behind him are two potent symbols of “progress” represented by Holstein Friesian dairy cattle and Northland shopping centre (c 2010), looming cavernous and omnipresent over a vast, empty car park temporarily devoid of consumer activity.

As a painter working predominantly in oils, Lane creates intricate and familiar scenes linked by themes of the built environment, politics, human rights and social change. Lane’s astute illustrative portraits and urban landscapes are skilfully structured compositions that employ a high degree of realism laced with an undercurrent of satire. His work is both thought provoking and humorous, inviting the viewer to contemplate the subject matter without pretension or distraction.

A Brief History of Preston © Warren Lane

Crossing the Merri

Public Description: 

Crossing the Merri(2003) comes from Siri Hayes’ Lyric Theatre series (2002-2004). This large digital photographic print depicts a scene of still beauty as the couple contemplate the Merri Creek and surrounds. The image by Hayes is of Merri Creek in winter with the bare deciduous trees, ragged in nature but not indigenous to the local area. These trees were later removed to make way for indigenous planting so this photograph also documents the changing values we have in relation to our environment.

Powerlines Merri Creek

Public Description: 

Katherine Hattam’s exuberant work, Powerlines Merri Creek equalises the natural environment with man-made constructions as she explores the hybrid landscape of local waterways and their locations.

Hattam’s art practice comprises drawing, collage, printmaking and sculpture. She employs a contemplative process in revealing the relationships and tensions between objects, space and placement. Hattam has exhibited widely as a solo artist as well as in group shows for over five decades. She has won the Robert Jacks Drawing Prize (2006), Banyule Works on Paper Art Award (2005) and has been short-listed in the Dobell Drawing Prize, the National Works on Paper Prize and the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize. Her work is represented in public, corporate, educational and private collections such as the National Gallery of Australia, state and regional art galleries, The Darling Foundation, Smorgen Collection, Artbank, Queen Victoria Hospital, National Australia Bank and La Trobe University Museum of Art.

Powerlines Merri Creek © Katherine Hattam

Regrowth after the fires

Public Description: 

In Regrowth after the fires, Gwen Garoni (1933-2014) powerfully demonstrates the devastation wrought on the landscape by the all engulfing Black Saturday bushfires in February 2009. This compelling pictorial narrative is informed by Garoni’s intimate knowledge and deep connection to the land of her ancestors. The hills and valleys of her Taurgurong country are laid bare, devoid of trees and vegetation, homes are burned out and the cost of human and wildlife loss is catastrophic. In the aftermath of the worst bushfires in Australia’s history, the healing process of nature’s regrowth begins.

Aunty Gwen Garoni was a respected Victorian Koori Elder and a descendant of the Taungurong people of north-east Victoria. Her work reflects upon the significance of place, family connections and cultural identity. Her art is grounded in her love of Country and explores the Australian landscape, ancestral memories and early colonial history.

Garoni was a winner of the DATSICC emerging artist award for the Gumbri White Dove Acquisitive Prize (2006 and 2010), a finalist in the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards (2006 and 2007) and a finalist in the ANL Maritime Art Prize (2009 and 2011). Her artwork is held in public and private collections.

Regrowth after the fires © Gwen Garoni