Opening Friday 26 September -2 October 2014
The moon hangs low,
The sun begins to peek over the horizon splashing pink on the brooding clouds gathered over Garden Island.
Air thick with whispers hot
Moonlight picks his familiar path down to South Fremantle beach.
The powerful steed stretches out and opens to a gallop
Monuments of a life’s work fade behind the rider
Time stands still as horse and master meet the waters end.
- Jo Darvall 2014
What began as a deep admiration for painter Kathleen O’Connor, quickly turned to obsession for Jo Darvall as she found herself absorbed in O’Connor’s tragic family history. The first chapter of a planned three part series, Walking the Pipeline to the Waters End, explores the last days of O’Connor’s father, Western Australian Engineer in Chief, Charles Yelverton O’Connor’s, before his untimely suicide.
Following in the footsteps of iconic Australian painters such as Sidney Nolan, who probed the legend of Ned Kelly, Darvall unearths the great Western Australian story of a man who was ultimately driven to his demise by an ever increasing and complex workload, laced with unreasonable public expectation and media distortion.
“It is only through myth that the truth about any country can be found”
Sidney Nolan, 1968.
Embarking on her most ambitious exhibition to date, Darvall has visited historical sites, conducted her own research, and consulted with local Fremantle historians to reference her creation of large scale, traditional oil paintings, which delve into the myths that surround C.Y. O’Connor and question how we make sense of his legacy.
Of her practice arts writer Stephanie Holt says,
“Jo Darvall is an artist to her core, and her plain speaking ways offer their own kind of poetry. Hers is a sensibility alert to connections, beauty, revelation. That can recognise something of the grandeur of the iconic American west in the Pilbara, but without missing its histories of struggle and destruction.”