Drawing Wall #24 by Darren Wardle

Please note: this is an old article.

This article was published on 24, August, 2016. The infomation contained wihin may be out of date or inaccurate.

Darren Wardle is the 24th artist to feature on the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) Drawing Wall this week (22 - 26 August 2016).

Darren Wardle is known for his hyper-real paintings of abandoned buildings and urban structures that appear to be drawn from a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi dystopia. Painted in a synthetic day-glo palette, they hint at the failures of modernism and its associated belief in a rational and orderly world.

Darren Wardle’s Billboard Panorama, on SAM’s Drawing Wall in the Eastbank Centre Foyer, is an instantly recognisable image for any suburban dweller in the Western world. This archetypal scene depicts disused advertising billboards silhouetted against a highly saturated sky. While uninhabited, there is evidence of life in the form of graffiti scrawl that defaces the structures: an attempt at visibility or to reclaim territory within the constant barrage of advertising. A surveillance camera records and monitors from overhead.

SAM Senior Curator Anna Briers said:

‘Wardle’s image could portray a specific place, or nowhere in particular. An urban view that we might experience in transit while on a road trip: somewhere between our present location and our destination. As a representation of the way in which commodity culture informs architecture and space, the image recalls the homogeneity and sameness of cities globally. The work has an alluring cinematic quality that evokes the post-war gasoline stations and roadside architecture that seminal West-coast American Pop artist Edward Ruscha captured in the ’60s.’

Darren Wardle holds a Masters by Research from the Victorian College of the Arts, 2014. He has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards and his works are held in various Australian collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, Heidi Museum of Modern Art, and RMIT University Collection, amongst others. He has held over 20 solo shows and exhibited widely in the USA, Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Wardle is represented by Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne and Stephan Stoyanov Gallery in New York City.

Darren will be installing his work from until Friday 26 August. This is a great opportunity for the community to come by and see him at work and ask questions about his art and processes.

Image Credit: Darren Wardle in his studio.