Customer Darryl smiling and looking at the camera in front of his artwork

Darryl

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Freo today, New York tomorrow

Darryl Dempster continues to shine in the art world with his exhibition “DooDoo” at the annual Revealed exhibition in the Fremantle Arts Centre, drawing attention from New York art curators.

The Annual Revealed Exhibition returned to the Fremantle Arts Centre in collaboration with the Aboriginal Art Centre Hub of Western Australia (AACHWA), providing Darryl Dempster his first opportunity to showcase a complete exhibition.

Darryl has been diligently working behind the scenes at his Rocky Bay Specialist Disability Accommodation to create the pieces for “DooDoo.”

Named after Darryl’s signature inscribed on several of the works, “DooDoo” invites the audience to immerse themselves in a rich landscape of mark-making, colour, vision, and storytelling.

“DooDoo” has already attracted attention, with New York art curators expressing interest in bringing the exhibition to the Big Apple.

Interest from New York isn’t the only opportunity that has come Darryl’s way. He has also been approached to paint a full mural at the Children’s Hospital and received an invitation from a commercial gallery in Alice Springs to exhibit his work.

A proud Noongar man, Darryl was born and raised in Kepa Kurl (Esperance), Western Australia and moved to Boorloo (Perth) in his early adulthood.

Embarking on his creative exploration five years ago, Darryl uncovered his innate talent and passion for artmaking, using vibrant colours and energetic gestures to communicate his rich inner world.

The story continues...

Rocky Bay Team Leader Talei McKenzie has been instrumental in guiding Darryl on his artistic journey over the past five years, offering support and encouragement that have helped him find his voice and deepen his connection to country.

“Darryl’s art journey began just before the COVID pandemic, and it quickly became clear that he found immense joy in exploring colour and connection,” Talei said.

“We’ve continued that journey, which initially involved a lot of self-reflection, featuring darker colours and varied objects. It was a journey of exploring his identity, history, and memories.

“We were fortunate to meet Ariel (from Rocky Bay Mosman Park’s Art Studio), who has collaborated with Darryl to create these vibrant artworks, helping him reconnect with happier memories.

“His pieces now showcase beautiful colours, along with trucks, cars, and maps that he is very proud of. I share in his pride, along with our team, for this incredible opportunity.

“This exhibition is a wonderful display of inclusivity, and we are immensely proud of Darryl,” Talei added.

Rocky Bay Chief Accommodation Officer, Jane Edmond, shared that Talei’s unwavering support and encouragement were instrumental in helping Darryl discover meaningful pursuits in his life.

“Talei has been a great advocate for Darryl, making sure he was able to access funds for his passion for art,” Jane said.

“It is important to acknowledge, that if Darryl had not met Talei, then this amazing journey he finds himself on, may have never happened.

“It is her never ending support and belief in him, that has truly enabled Darryl to recognise a dream. To see him interacting with people at his exhibition; the joy and confidence that shines from him, is such an uplifting experience.

“It has made me think – Imagine, if everyone was able to have a Talei in their lives; society would begin to see so many possibilities and unique abilities celebrated. We must never underestimate the power of belief, persistence and having someone there to support you on the ups and downs of life’s journey,” Jane said.

How we helped

In the comfort of Darryl’s Specialist Disability Accommodation, he and his art coach and support worker, Ariel Katzir, immerse themselves in creative practices that bring Darryl immense joy.

Ariel has been working with Darryl for four years, painting together and fostering an environment that encourages Darryl to experiment freely.

“The technique I use with my clients is very transpersonal,” Ariel explained.

“I observe how they work and help facilitate their unique processes, rather than pushing on them how things should be done,” Ariel said.

Ariel recalled her initial encounters in understanding Darryl’s artistic approach.

“When I first started working with him, a lot of his artwork was just brown. I was trying to figure out where that was coming from, but he loves the act of painting itself, which is wonderful because it allows him to lose himself in the process for hours.”

Ariel devised a strategy to help Darryl make the most of his creative sessions.

“He had such beautiful drawings that he would paint over in brown. So, I encouraged him to work on three pieces simultaneously. This gives him a safe space to play and explore, allowing him to experiment freely,” Ariel said.

Talei describes how Ariel has allowed Darryl to feel confident enough to develop his own art style.

“Ariel has been Darryl’s guide helping to uncover his unique style,” Talei said.

“I knew as soon as I met Ariel we had found the right person for Darryl.

“Darryl and Ariel have a meaningful friendship, and one I am so pleased myself and my team get to continue to encourage and support.

“Their friendship really is a great story of commitment, dedication and inclusion,” Talei said.

Rocky Bay are so proud of Darryl, Talei, Ariel and the team for this amazing outcome.

The Revealed exhibition features more than 150 artworks, with almost 70 artists representing 27 WA Aboriginal art centres, plus 12 independent artists.

Be sure to find out more on the website here and support Darryl: https://www.fac.org.au/whats-on/post/2024-revealed-exhibition-new-and-emerging-wa-aboriginal-artists/

A few words

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Talei

- This exhibition is a wonderful display of inclusivity, and we are immensely proud of Darryl

Customer Darryl smiling and looking at the camera in front of his artwork, with his support worker and Team Leader.

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