My partner and I live in a one-bedroom deco flat close to the city, enabling us to walk to work and be close to friends and family. I am working full-time as the gallery manager at Sutton Gallery in Fitzroy, which is an easy 20-minute walk each way. With my studio in Preston, at the new Gertrude Contemporary location, and me in my 6th month of pregnancy, we decided to carve out a little corner of the flat, so I can draw and write at home. I have found myself in a new period where I have been waking up early, and I have been able to use this time to draw for one to two hours before my walk to work.
The light through the end of Winter and the start of Spring has been clear and bright in the mornings, and aids in drawing on paper at my desk. The routine of morning drawing has become my daily undertaking, with no fixed outcomes and enjoying the steady act of drawing. A friend mentioned to me the artist Camille Henrot produced watercolours after the birth of her child, because everything was wet, breast milk, saliva, excreta. Drawing is a direct and satisfying form of mark making, with hardly any prep or clean-up, a comfortable way to mark the subjectivity perhaps of pre- and post-partum psychology.
—Darcey Bella Arnold, Spring, Naarm / Melbourne, 2022
Working within painting, drawing and sculpture Darcey Bella Arnold’s practice is informed by experience and research. Beginning with the personal as a departure point, Arnold’s work drifts between intimacy, language, art history and pedagogical theses. The text used in Arnold’s paintings is fluid, the use of diacritic marks and the misuse of the English language leaves narrative open for interpretation, intentionally, and language becomes a configuration in the creation of a compositional image. Her exhibitions are often project-based bodies of research, which glean from histories and theories to create extensive bodies of work.
Darcey completed a BFA, Drawing at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne (2007), and a BFA, Honours at Monash University, Melbourne (2009).
Select solo exhibitions include: A Measure of Disorder, Gertrude Glasshouse, Melbourne (2022); me say edit be, ReadingRoom, Melbourne (2020); My Mother’s Labour, Sutton Gallery Project Space, Melbourne (2018); Folded brick, Neon Parc Project Space, 215 Albion St, Darcey Bella Arnold and Deimantas Narkevičius (LTU) curated by Paulius Andriuškevičius and Nicholas Kleindienst (2018); Talking with the Taxman About Poetry, Testing Grounds, Melbourne Arts Precinct (2017).
Select group exhibitions include: The Churchie Award, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2022); Geelong Contemporary Art Prize, Geelong Gallery, Victoria (2022); If Not At Arm’s Length, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne (2022); Sikås Biennale, Sikås Art Centre, Jämtland, Sweden (2020).
Darcey is a 2020-2023 Gertrude Studio Artist, Gertrude Contemporary, and is represented by ReadingRoom Naarm/Melbourne. She lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne, Australia.
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