Darebin Art Collection

Wombat Dreaming

Public Description: 

Trevor ‘Turbo’ Brown loves animals and has created a body of work entirely based around them. This large painting shows two big wombats and one smaller one, standing outside their dark burrow. They are surrounded by a border of white clouds in a blue sky. 'Turbo''s work may seem naïve with its simple forms, but there is a great energy and skill in his use of composition, colour and line. He uses bright colours and bold outlines, painting quickly with unmixed acrylic paint. The painting is a public favourite within the City of Darebin, and has often hung in public spaces including Darebin Libraries and Bundoora Homestead Art Centre.

Living rough on the Mildura streets and the Murray River bank, 'Turbo' has said that animals were his only friends. He was adopted by Herb Patten and his wife, Aunty Bunta and moved to Melbourne where he took up boxing and became a keen rapper and breakdancer. Uncle Herb and Aunty Bunta enrolled in a diploma of visual arts at the Bundoora RMIT campus and took 'Turbo' along. There he began to paint. It soon became apparent that he had a talent for expressing on canvas the stories and images from his mind.

'Turbo' holds a Diploma of Arts (Visual Arts) from RMIT Melbourne, which he completed in 2004 and his first solo exhibition at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Melbourne, was a sell-out.

Summer Storm

Public Description: 

The painting Summer Storm features the Merri Creek. It illustrates this iconic waterway in this area detailing the native vegetation and the intrusion of the power lines and skyscrapers. The painting also makes reference to Giorgione’s painting The Tempest paying tribute to the power of nature as the lightning bolt on the horizon seems to have carved out the creek. The site of this painting is from Yarra Bend Park where NMIT is located. It was all once part of City of Northcote. The new boundaries put all of the open space south of Heidelberg Road into the City of Yarra. So it is very near Darebin's border. The area is easy to walk to from nearby car parks. It shows the view of the city that we have from the City of Darebin.

Teacosy Number 34, Bundoora Homestead

Public Description: 

Crafted from fabric, quilting, beads, silk and plastic, Teacosy Number 34, Bundoora Homestead is a tribute to former times when teacosies were a practical, yet highly decorative domestic accessory. The rich, luxurious colour shadings of burgundy and brown together with the use of hand embroidery techniques convey a sense of history and formality. A small plastic horse adorns the teacosy acknowledging Bundoora Homestead’s original use as a racehorse breeding stud led by the champion stallion Wallace, sired by Carbine, winner of the 1896 Melbourne Cup. The teacosy is embroidered on both sides with a swallow that appears prominently throughout Bundoora Homestead’s interior stained and painted glass scheme and the fabrics reflect some of the homestead’s original paint colours.

Tara Badcock is a Tasmanian based conceptual artist and designer working primarily with textiles. Her work is held in a number of private and public collections including the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery and UNESCO’s Collection Permanent in Paris, France.

Teacosy Number 34, Bundoora Homestead © Tara Badcock

Bundoora Homestead II

Public Description: 

In Bundoora Homestead II, Stephen Armstrong depicts the Queen Anne Federation style mansion set against a bright blue Australian sky. A circular driveway leading to the main entrance is cast in partial shadow. The fourteen-room homestead is dominated by double-storey balcony verandahs with striking architectural features including dominant hipped roofs, tall brick and stucco chimneys and terracotta grotesque finials located on the principal gables.

Situated on the slopes of Mt. Cooper, the highest point of landscape in metropolitan Melbourne, and one of Victoria’s oldest extinct volcanoes, Bundoora Homestead was designed in 1899 as the centre piece of a 606 acre (245 hectares) racehorse stud. Between 1920 and 1993 it operated as a convalescent farm and psychiatric repatriation hospital and from 2001 has functioned as a public art gallery and cultural heritage centre. Standing for over one hundred years, Bundoora Homestead is the keeper of many memories and much history.

Armstrong works primarily with oils, painting on site or plein air, in the traditional genres of the figure, still life and, predominately, landscape. His work generally investigates natural, built and urban environments as he captures the atmosphere of a specific place and time.

Bundoora Homestead II © Stephen Armstrong

Bundoora Homestead I

Public Description: 

In Bundoora Homestead I, Stephen Armstrong links the past and present through his depiction of Bundoora Homestead, a stately Queen Anne Federation style mansion. Built in 1899 for a prominent horse racing identity, John Matthew Vincent Smith (1857-1922) and his family, the homestead now operates as a public art gallery. A sense of foreboding prevails as fast moving storm clouds shroud the sky in black and purple hues. In the foreground, circular beds of roses and cannas are surrounded by immaculately manicured lawns reminiscent of the archetypal English manor house. Overlooking this scene is a single struggling palm tree while a solitary native Australian magpie forages for food before the storm breaks.

Armstrong works primarily with oils, painting on site or plein air, in the traditional genres of the figure, still life and, predominately, landscape. Armstrong's work generally investigates natural, built and urban environments as he captures the atmosphere of a specific place and time.

Bundoora Homestead I © Stephen Armstrong