Remote region inspires art

Staff Reporter

After three years painting some of the largest urban landscapes in existence, Brendon Darby found himself in one of the most remote regions of the world, the North East Kimberley.

Inspired by the beauty and isolation of the Kimberley's Berkeley River, Darby is now set to present his latest collection titled River.

Across three decades as an artist and musician Darby has been fascinated by his environment, from the noise and bustle of grand cosmopolitan cities like New York, to the open and untouched regions of the Kimberley or Kakadu.

"There is nowhere less urban than the Kimberley and more specifically the Berkeley River - the only way in is by boat or seaplane," he said.

Spending time in July at the Berkeley River Lodge on sand dunes where the river mouth meets the ocean, Darby traversed the surrounds, collecting material from the magnificent landscape to shape his latest works.

"Perhaps I was still in city mode, but in the upper Berkeley, I couldn't help but notice the way water had sculptured this landscape over millions of years, had resulted magnificent cathedral-like structures, with a little Gaudi thrown in," he said.

Strong colours and bold forms create arresting compositions of the majestic riparian environment, explored and exploited by Darby with his characteristic mix of interpretation and representation through mixed media.

Among the impressive collection, artworks including Cathedral and Into the Berkeley Sun, display grand, fortress-like rock formations rising from the serene Berkeley River.

Darby's process for this collection involved working on small studies based on daily observations before developing the pieces into larger representational paintings.

"This process involves close attention to the detail and nuance that make this region unique," he said.

"In time, I arrive at a place where I can be more spontaneous, with semi-abstract works that I hope convey not just what I saw, but what I felt."

The exhibition is showing at Linton and Kay Galleries Perth from November 19 to December 3.

Part proceeds will be donated to Youth Focus, an organisation aimed at supporting young people to overcome the issues associated with suicide and depression.

Into the Berkeley Sun will be on display at the River exhibition. Picture: Brendon Darby