Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Look Local -

Hyde Park one day and thought it was a fan­tas­tic lo­ca­tion with the lakes, va­ri­ety of trees and flow­ers and with the light on those mag­nif­i­cent More­ton Bay figs,” he said.

“And I thought wild­flow­ers through a sun­shower at Kings Park would be nice.”

Once at a suit­able lo­ca­tion, he takes a photo through the glass and works from it in his stu­dio.

“I do get some very strange looks when I have my gear set up in parks,” Darby said.

“So to sit there and do the paint­ing, which would take a few days, would be al­most im­pos­si­ble on lo­ca­tion.”

Darby said he was in­spired while ob­serv­ing land­scapes through win­dow con­den­sa­tion on a trip to the Hawkes­bury River in New South Wales one win­ter many years ago.

He then re­alised wa­ter on the out­side of a win­dow was even more in­ter­est­ing, dis­tort­ing the land­scape im­age through lit­tle prisms into an ab­stract-look­ing paint­ing.

“I’m a big fan of ab­strac­tion,” he said.

Tanya MacNaughton

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d446957

A DE­SIRE to paint land­scapes un­der a sun­shower in Perth’s cli­mate led artist Bren­don Darby to think out­side the square.

“Try­ing to get rain and sun per­form­ing in the right time and place is al­most im­pos­si­ble,” he said. “So I de­cided to work a way around this and build a rain ma­chine.

“I take with me a sheet of glass in a frame to a par­tic­u­lar land­scape I want to paint, and set it up on easels and spray it, cre­at­ing a wet win­dow wher­ever I need it to be.

“I can vary the strength or weight of the rain to what­ever is ap­pro­pri­ate; some may think that it’s cheating but I can see very lit­tle al­ter­na­tive to find­ing sun­show­ers wher­ever you want.”

The rain ma­chine is a sim­pli­fied version of one the artist pre­vi­ously made on his van that in­volved pumps and retic­u­la­tion pipes to view ur­ban cityscapes through his win­dow.

Darby has taken his stream­lined rain ma­chine to Hyde Park, Kings Park and South West lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing Black­wood River and Fer­gu­son Val­ley to cre­ate 10 large-scale oils on can­vas works for Sun­shower, an ex­hi­bi­tion at Lin­ton and Kay Gal­leries Perth un­til De­cem­ber 18.

“I hap­pened to be driv­ing by Through a glass...artist Bren­don Darby with his self-made rain ma­chine.

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