Jo Darbyshire

Jo Darbyshire's paintings reference the social and environmental history of place. She aligns her work to that of the Surrealists and their aim, through manipulation of the material texture and colour of oil paint, to suggest a poetic, sensory connection.

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Pakenham St, 2015, oil on canvas, 150 x 140cm
Pakenham St, 2015, oil on canvas, 150 x 140cm | Jo Darbyshire

Jo Darbyshire was born in 1961 in Perth, Western Australia. She studied Fine Arts at Curtin University in 1981, a Post-Graduate Diploma at Canberra School of Art in 1991 and a Master of Creative Arts in Cultural Heritage at Curtin University of Technology in 2004.

Jo's abstract paintings reference the social and environmental history of place. She aligns her work to that of the Surrealists and their aim, through manipulation of the material texture and colour of oil paint, to suggest a poetic, sensory connection.

Her current work explores her strong relationship with the Western Australian coast and her interest in its underwater landscapes, islands, Fremantle Port and traces of colonial life.

She often incorporates contemporary social history into projects. In 2003 she won a museum award for her exhibition, The Gay Museum, for the Perth Festival at the WA Museum and in 2018 received WA State Government funding to create the installation, Warship – The Glorious Decline of the Officer’s Library, at John Curtin Gallery.

Jo has received State Government and Australia Council funding to attend international residency programs such as Cite Internationale des Artes, Paris; Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada and Cill Rialaig studios, Ballin Skelligs, Ireland. In 2005, Jo won the Bankwest Contemporary Art Award. She exhibits regularly and her artwork is held in all major public institutions in WA, private collections, nationally and internationally.

Her public art commissions include the Supreme Court Civil, Perth (an 18 metre long painting and glass wall artworks) and Fiona Stanley Hospital.