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Responding to the natural environment, I work primarily in acrylic painting and drawing, focusing on the features and details of the landscape and themes related to the landscape. Landscape painting is not just about contemplation of place- but place in time, which is the contemplation of change and mortality; a contemplation of tragic and beautiful histories, and the hope that is birthed in these tensions. Connecting with these stories helps us understand where we are and when we are, but I also believe that engaging with these stories helps us understand who we are. 

Most of the work happens in my home studio, but it nearly always starts en plein air - gathering sketches on location and then continuing the work back at the studio. For me, art is storytelling and thought processing and a constant conversation.

My art has hung in galleries in Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra and Port Macquarie, as well as local cafés and waiting rooms. It has also appeared on two books covers (which is a stunning privilege) and an album cover (which makes me feel like a rock star). There are pieces in private collections in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and UK...and quite a few are at my mum's house. Although I have an art degree and have returned to the same institution as a sessional lecturer and demonstrator, I have much more learning and growing and discovering to do - a whole lifetime of it.

I grew up on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales, but have called Newcastle (NSW) home for the past 16 years. I have an incredible husband and two fantastically energetic sons. I'm always on the hunt for great coffee and pretty leaves.



2006  BA/BTch Visual Arts, Avondale College of Higher Education


2009-2013 Sessional lecturer and guest demonstrator, Avondale College of Higher Education, Lake Macquarie

Solo Exhibitions

2017 'Thanks Judith', The Cunning Culinarian, Maitland

2013  'A Collection', Joanne Felk Gallery, Lake Macquarie 

2011 Selected works from 'Mindmap', Shopfront Gallery, Newcastle

2011 'Mindmap', Compass Art Space, Hamilton

2009 Selected works from 'Abundant', Shopfront Gallery, Newcastle

2009 'Abundant', Newcastle Art Space, Newcastle

Group Exhibitions

2014 'Breath', Joanne Felk Gallery, Lake Macquarie

2011 Sunset Gallery, Port Macquarie

2009 'Voices for Justice', Old Parliament House, Canberra

2008 Mosman Art Prize (finalist), Mosman Gallery

2006 'Creative Collective', Avondale College Graduates Exhibition, Joanne Felk Gallery, Lake Macquarie

Selected Projects  +  Publications  +  Press

Co-convenor of Manifest Creative Arts Festival, 2013-2015

Book cover image, "Do Justice: Our Call to Live Faithfully", Signs Publishing, 2014

Co-editor "Manifest: Our Call to Faithful Creativity", Signs Publishing, 2013

Book cover image, "Manifest: Our Call to Faithful Creativity", Signs Publishing, 2013

Winner 'Gabe Reynaud Award' for Excellence in Faithful Creativity, 2012

Album artwork for 'Ali + Leighton: Year of the Home' 2010

Interview on 1233 ABC Radio with Anthony Scully, 21/01/2009



See what's been happening on Instagram @joanna.darby