Art Cup Project
Artist: Brendon Darby
Title: Wet Wait
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Brendon is a painter and musician. He has shown in London, Rome, Hong Kong, Austria and in the USA in Aspen, Houston and New York.
We sat down with Brendon to find out about the man behind the painting and the painting in front of the man.
What’s his coffee order?
You wouldn’t call me a coffee connoisseur. I usually only have 1 a day in the morning. White, double shot, with 1 sugar, with almond or dairy milk.
Where can you view his work?
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for updates and visit my website to view more. Linton and Kay Galleries in West Perth, Subiaco, Mandoon Estate and Cherubino down in Margaret River. You can see my work on my website. I also have more work in Sydney and had across Australia, but COVID has really affected national galleries.
Why did you choose this piece of artwork for the cup?
I was asked to show a couple of pieces. I chose this piece because I love abstraction. Even though this piece is actually not abstract, it’s naturally abstracted by the rain. I do a lot of this work.
What is the story behind this piece of art?
I’ve always been interested in abstraction but not very good at it. I tend to see images emerge in an abstract painting and work towards it so it becomes less abstract. In this particular case, I was sitting in a car in Sydney one evening, waiting to go to the airport, and it started to rain whilst I was waiting for my friend. I was looking down at this brilliantly lit street in Sydney, Kent Street, and it rained heavier and heavier. The lights were distorting the rain on the windscreen, and the effect it was having on the image was magnificent. I took a few photos. And this was the beginning of a very, very long journey, which included trips to Singapore for the wet season, building my own rain machine on top of my van so I could get it to rain anytime and it’s a subject I continue to pursue. Whenever it starts raining heavily, I have to jump in my car and go for a drive and see what I can find.
On the trip to Singapore, well, I was very much into the idea of this wet window and it was the middle of summer here in Perth, so no rain. I suggested to my wife Julie that we do a quick trip up to Singapore. I looked at the weather forecast and there were huge monsoon showers forecasted. We flew up to Singapore and jumped into a cab when it was supposed to be raining. The cab driver kept asking us where we wanted to go and we just did loops waiting for the rain. He thought we were totally nuts. As it happens, it never rained in Singapore, which was very strange for the time of year. However, it did rain as we were in a taxi driving down the runway to leave Singapore. To make it even more upsetting, a big storm came through in Perth whilst we were in Singapore. So, we didn’t achieve anything except for perhaps a lesson to not travel on a whim for something that’s so fleeting.
What appealed to you about this project?
It’s a great way to distribute art to a new and wider audience that might not be gallery-goers or into visual arts. And also, it’s in an environment where they have the time to look at the art. Because if they’re sitting down, drinking a coffee, they might have a few minutes to spare. I also like the fact that the cups are biodegradable as well. There’s something really nice about people throwing my paintings away to decompose.
Why is it important to support the arts?
I heard an interesting interview on Radio National recently about the education system restricting arts to the very young. By that I mean, if a child does a scribble or an abstract image, the chances are the teacher will say, “that’s not right, you need to tidy that up a little,” and that probably applies to the performing arts as well. If a child is drawn to contemporary music and shows that very early in school, they’ll probably be corrected. So, support for the arts in general is incredibly important to give all the arts the scope to freely express themselves without feeling like they’re conforming in any way at all.