Darrah, Ben

  • Home:
    Kingston, Ontario
  • Title:
    Owen in red jacket
  • Media:
    Acrylic on fabric / acrylique sur tissue
  • Dimensions:
    61 x 61 cm
  • Website:

Owen in Red Jacket – This is a portrait of Owen Darrah – a ten year old boy and my son – wearing his down-filled jacket and camouflage hat. Besides an attempt to capture Owen at a particular moment in his life, this painting is also an attempt to document some of the cultural tendencies and events that are ever present in his life. These cultural tendencies include a somewhat paradoxical relationship with the environment – the actual Canadian landscape and the media driven construct of nature, a symptom of which is manifest in the move of camouflage to replace plaid as the ubiquitous fabric pattern (and the stenciled image of a mountain scene in the background). Even the combination of a rendered portrait on an abstract ground so that they are both integrated and disjointed speaks to this paradoxical relationship.

While I initially approached using camouflage to speak about the disconnect between nature and how it is represented in media (the main focus of most of my work) I can not avoid the fact that Owen is growing up during a time that Canada is at war and that camouflage has a military significance. Something that frightens me much more than it does him.

Like many ten year-olds, Owen is equally comfortable back country camping and downloading software onto the computer. Owen in Red Jacket shows a ten-year old who is growing up with feet firmly planted in both the natural and media saturated world.
EDUCATION:

1995

Master of Fine Arts Degree, Specializing in painting, University of Windsor – Windsor, Ontario


1987

Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, Specializing in sculpture, University of Alberta – Edmonton, Alberta


SOLO EXHIBITIONS:

2008

“Camp” ~ Scheduled for August, Rails End Gallery & Arts Centre, Haliburton, Ontario


2006

“Sense of Place” ~ Gallery at 129 Ossington, Toronto, Ontario


2005

“Threshold” ~ Verb Gallery, Kingston, Ontario


2005

“Panel: Cabinet of Secret Desires” ~ Sarah Beveridge Contemporary Art, Barrie, Ontario


2004

“The Space Between” ~ The Swamp Ward Window Project, Kingston, Ontario


2004

“Present” ~ The Upstairs Gallery, Kingston, Ontario


2002

“PLACE” ~ Verb Gallery, Kingston, Ontario


1997

“Vicinity” ~ James Allen Fine Art, Toronto, Ontario


1996

“Thinking of Clouds” ~ Alternative Grounds, Toronto, Ontario


1995

“At Play” ~ Common Ground Gallery, Windsor, Ontario


GROUP EXHIBITIONS:

2007

“Post Camp” ~ scheduled for May 2007 Ben Darrah and Shelly Bahl, Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, Kingston, ON


2007

“20 x 20” ~ March 2007 – Galerie Sandra Goldie, Montreal, Quebec


2006

“Toque Baroque” Ben Darrah and Paul Walde – McLaren Art Centre, Barrie, Ontario


2006

“Toque Baroque” Ben Darrah and Paul Walde – W.K.P. Kennedy Gallery, North Bay, ON


2005

“The Seventh Regional Juried Exhibition”, Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, Kingston, Ontario – Juror – Andy Fabo


2005

“Making Marks” ~ April 2005 – Sarah Beveridge Contemporary Art, Barrie, Ontario


2004

“The Sixth Regional Juried Exhibition”, Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, Kingston, Ontario – Juror – Lois Andison


2003

“Kingston Insights Project” Kingston Arts Council Community Arts Project, Agnes Etherington Arts Centre, Kingston, Ontario


2001

“December Group Show: Works on Paper” – Fran Hill Gallery, Toronto, Ontario


1997

“Hinterland” (an exhibition on shared cultural identity curated by Ben Darrah), Artcite Inc., Windsor, Ontario


1995

“Ten” – Edward Day Gallery, Kingston, Ontario


1994

“Site/Unseen” – Gallery B312, Montreal, Quebec


1994

“Southwest Biennial” – Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario guest juror: Jessica Bradley

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