Perception is funny. Sometimes we only appreciate something when it is gone, or missing. At times we miss something, even when it is right in front of us. At other times we find a new use (or meaning) for something that had appeared to lose its usefulness.
Darrah uses found imagery of flora and fauna (and the tools we use to engage with our environment) in combination with painted abstract grounds to suggest narratives about (Canadian) identity, environment and sense of place. Darrah has always been concerned with the interplay of colour and mark-making, and he particularly focuses on subtle, and not-so-subtle, colour combinations that are both evocative and beautiful.
Darrah started exploring graffiti techniques in the 1980’s. He was interested in the casual immediacy of the graffiti mark and the expressively worn patina of the walls that provide the substrate for graffiti artists. To echo this surface he applies thin layers of paint mixed with acrylic gel and masked off with imperfect registration so that there is the ghost record of previous layers.
Biography - Selected
Darrah is a Kingston-based artist. He was born in London, England, and immigrated to Canada with his family in 1968. He grew up in Edmonton, Alberta and graduated with a BFA from the University of Alberta in 1987 and earned a Master of Fine Art at the University of Windsor in 1995.
Darrah has worked as an art dealer, curator, freelance writer, and taught art at Queen’s University, St. Lawrence College, and White Mountain Academy. He is currently an elementary teacher with the Limestone District School Board and maintains a studio in Glenburnie, Ontario. His work can be found in private and public collections in North America and Europe.