Darren Porter

Tubes, Ropes, Wires.

My practice explores the notions of relationships between our psychological and material surrounds. This involves the taut and tame balancing act required to understand place and belonging in an increasingly detached social network. The paintings deal with the idea that the more we are encroached upon by events, stuff and technology, the more we become the pocket-sized person confronted by unlimited intervals. In the picture frame something has occurred that not even I am aware of, the figures are for the most part helpless but not totally distressed. Connected by ropes, wires and tubes with the machine as family, we freefall into the future.

It's a global concern, and the geographical locations in the titles suggest this. They are places I’ve had contact with. Through travel, where friends reside, or a story or photo I’ve come across that has forced a response. The figures I use come from various sources, my own photographs, newspapers and magazines. I also use the Internet because it has a random quality about it, depending on what you type into the search engine to get a result. By displacing the figures into a different context, the paintings have an abnormal transience, a kind of unsteady reality.

I paint for the mystery of it, locating something where there was nothing, the mathematics of it is not that complicated, I think you can chase it down. You just have to focus. You just have to go after it.

—Darren B. Porter, 2011


Solo exhibitions

2009 Jackman Gallery, Melbourne

2007 Jackman Gallery, Melbourne

2005 Mind and Counter Mind, Brightspace Gallery, Melbourne

2000 The Eraser Triangle, Flying Rhino, London

1996 Sound-giant, RMIT Gallery, Tolarno’s, St Kilda, Melbourne


Selected group exhibitions

2011 Drawing Connections, Sienna Art Institute, Italy

2007 6 Degree Prize, Frankston Arts Centre

2004 I-Candy, North Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne

1999 Forged Eclipse, TIP, London

1998 Blank Fever, Who’s What, Oslo, Norway

1997 Five Quiet Years, St Kilda Town Hall, Melbourne

1996 Re-productions, RMIT Gallery, Tolarno’s, St Kilda, Melbourne

1995 Ink Splashes, Tattoo Pete’s, Amsterdam

1994 Little People, Fiona James, London

1990 Gippsland Art Prize

1989 The Brush and the Hammer, Spoleto Fringe Gallery, Fitzroy



2011 Finalist, Stan and Maureen Duke Prize

2009 Finalist, Country Energy Art Prize

2006 Monash University, Board of Examiners Commendation

2005 Monash University, Postgraduate Academic Merit Scholarship

2002 Australia Council for the Arts, New Work Development Grant

1999 Artist in Residence, Flying Rhino Studio, London

1990 Gippsland Art Prize, Local Environments Award

1988 National Gallery Society Award

1986 George Hicks Award


London Royal Academy of Arts

Oslo Academy; Burton Collection (UK)

City of Port Phillip, Melbourne

Private Collections in Australia, Europe, India and USA.