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                                             b. 1964, Lincoln, England

                                             Lives and works in Adelaide, South Australia.

Born in Lincoln, England, Daryl came to Australia and settled in Adelaide. He is Head of Painting at Adelaide Central School of Art, where he has taught painting since 2001, and is currently represented by the Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide South Australia.

Daryl studied a BA in Visual Arts at the University of South Australia 1983 - 1986. He was included in the 2nd Adelaide Biennial at the Art Gallery of South Australia in 1992. Daryl’s talent has been recognised by numerous awards, such as the EVA Award, Adelaide (1993), Kernewek Lowender Art Prize (1993), Winner Santos Whyalla Art Prize (1997), Winner City of Whyalla Art Prize [2002], University of Adelaide – Vice Chancellor Portrait Commission [2003) and Parliament of South Australia – President of Legislative Council Portrait commission (2005).

Daryl’s work is collected by the Art Gallery of South Australia, the University of Adelaide and Legislative Council, Parliament of South Australia in addition to several corporate collections in Australia.


“Richly detailed and highly personal, exuding a sense of stillness, Daryl Austin’s realist paintings quietly, yet resoundingly articulate the world of the painter... Austin directs the viewer into the nucleus of the painter’s studio, selectively framing his pictures within a picture, as little is revealed and much concealed...”

(excerpt from “Daryl Austin” by Wendy Walker, 2004)


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OUTWARD BOUND                                             2018


FICTIONS                                                           2016


FICTIONS                                                           2013


BLINK                                                                 2012


CIRCA EUROPE                                                   2009


OUR GRACE                                                       2008


NATURE MORTE / PEINTRE MORT                        2006


HERE THEN, NOW THERE                                    2003

Outward Bound



Images of travellers and voyagers, recent arrivals, re-visioned and altered messages from actual and fictive pasts. I’ve sought a way of shifting and reshaping both material and form, solid form nibbled and whittled into and then re-formed so that figure and ground relationships remain pliable to abstract painterly rhythms or to my own changes of thought and mood. 

Some images need to be painted and played with a deadpan bat. With “James and Susan”, I respected the makers original forms to the point I felt that they could be translated and investigated with paint but not necessarily altered in form. Other works led to alternate outcomes. The gift of an old photograph advertising a gymnasium in “A painting for Jasper” began with no further expectations than translation and yet as the image was being painted, a snatch of visual memory, a certain brushstroke, an evocation of a mood led the work into a completely different conceptual terrain. Old school beefcake and an elegy to Jasper Johns is unexpected but not without humour and yet remains a sincere, heartfelt tribute for both the artist who I had admired conceptually as a student and to an elderly friend who’d recently died. 

It is, I hope, a way of painting which allows and incorporates the widest range of translation with differing degrees of realism and painterly abstractions co existing according to both the dictates of the subject at hand and my own thought processes while painting.


- Daryl Austin, 2018


With its focus on immigration, dislocation and seeking asylum, Outward Bound could not be timelier. Sourced originally from amateur snapshots found in vintage photographic albums, Austin’s new paintings focus on travellers, and new arrivals. Though a turning point in a life, a long one-way sea journey is a strange mix of both boredom, and unbearable hope and anxiety. As portrayed here by our unknown émigré, the ship’s attendants, the stokers, cooks, cabin boys and ships staff, were important. Someone didn’t want to forget them, so they’ve been preserved for posterity.  

Austin manages to preserve the instantaneousness of photography, while shifting it seamlessly into his own medium. In shifting the motif, he mostly reserves the scale and framing of the original photograph while keeping as well the humanity, decorum, the hesitancy, the sense of performing to the lens.  

In a process requiring intense concentration, the ‘factures’ or ‘making strokes’ behind the figures, are broken by rhythmic shifts in tone, like waves, each spreading from the last. This ‘translation’ – the artist’s term for it - alters our reading of the figure, which begins to embed into the surface. In the shifting of tone from photograph to paint and creation of colour – from acid to muted, the scene seems to become dream-like; a fragmented memory defying time.  

The depths behind the figures, and around the still life objects, are not flat, but roiling with other visual possibilities that photography can’t imagine. In letting the surface shift and play and stray this way, Austin creates an independent motif that wanders way beyond its source imagery, and begins to do something extraordinary. It preserves the photographic moment within a medium ruled by an entirely different dureé, (or sense of time). Here Austin evokes both the time of production, and the abstract and de-temporalized time of our gaze, while preserving the ‘punctum’ [to use Roland Barthes’s term] or emotional punch – of photography’s relation to death.  

Dr Georgina Downey 
Art Historian and Research Fellow 
School of Humanities University of Adelaide

Fictions 2016



The exhibition showcases a collection of recent creations by English artist Daryl Austin (b.1964). The paintings are characterized by ‘a collusive collision and fusion of painterly and photographic imagery,’ as described by the artist himself. In one of her essays, Wendy Walker showers praise on Austin’s realist paintings for their sharp details and personal appeal. By reconfiguring and recomposing the faces and shifting the backgrounds, the artist infuses his work with an element of fiction while simultaneously reanimating his historical photography imagery.

Fictions 2013