reviews

- 'Stanley' - Weekend Australian April 2014
- Image 'Helicopter' Weekend Australian May 2013
- Image 'Shane Mortimer' Weekend Australian April 2012
- CityNews - Croc croaks from toad snack, July 2012
- CityNews - Rare Subjects, Rare photos, June 2012
- Couresty Letter CSIRO Discovery Centre - NAIDOC Week 2012
- Image 'Oyster Farmer', Weekend Australian Magazine 2012


"Clark knows his subject and his subjects"

Clark's work in portraiture is a strength...his images of children are warm and engaging, the laughing eyes of The Cowboys from Coonamble and The Drovers Boys from Gulargambone inviting the viewer to join their fun.

His adult portraits are unexpectedly moving as Clark uncovers and exposes the stoicism and sadness of his subjects. Once again drawing on iconic symbols of the outback, the men in Clark's photographs are studies in guarded emotion and strength.

While his works address issues such as drought and hardship, Clark approaches his subject with a familiarity and warmth which prevents his photographs from lapsing into preachy sentimentality.

He has lived in these places, he seems to know these people and his photographs invite the viewer to join him in this knowledge.

Charly Ogilvie
Canberra Times July 3, 2004

Review of Darren Clark - Images of the Outback
Tuggeranong Arts Centre Gallery


"Clark's photographs focus a direct and unmanipulated lens on people."

Concerned with human stories he portrays people often ignored or unseen, and transports them from the street to the gallery wall.

His photographs do not position their subjects on the fringe but rather bring these "fringe dwellers" into the centre, arresting the gaze of the viewer and evoking thoughts of what constitutes the mainstream, the normal.

Clark is not preaching through his photographs, or asking the viewer to stand in judgment, pity or awe; rather he is inviting a dialogue, an interaction between people who may never encounter one another on the street.

The subjects of these photos are not captured in passivity, rather they seem to accost the viewer with their direct, penetrating gaze.

Helen Musa
Canberra Times, October 7, 2005

Review of Fringe Dwellers
Huw Davies Gallery, Griffith ACT


Katie Chown knew just what she wanted to do when she saw this deep pool framed by an amphitheatre of 150m high cliffs, a little way downstream from Jim Jim Galls in Kakadu. She wanted to strip off, dive in and perform an underwater ballet, like a “supernatural nymph”, she says, like from one of those old Romantic paintings. To hell with the signs about crocodiles.

Photographer Darren Clark, who snapped this shot from the waters edge, met Chown four years ago, 'They fell in love' - Only problem is, she lives in Perth, where she’s a contemporary dancer and a student of occupational therapy. He left his native Geelong in 2000 to go walkabout and never stopped. He’s spent the past 18 months taking photographs in the remotest parts of the Northen Territory, living out of a 4WD stacked with weeks worth of provisions, recharging his cameras and computer with solar panels. “Totally committed” is how he describes his approach to his vocation. Still, they catch up several times a year. And when they do, their artistic spirits always collide in unusual ways. They’ll be in Kings Park at dawn, say, or at some Outback rock art site and Chown will start dancing, a spontaneous act of self-expression, channelling her emotional reaction to her environment while Clark photographs it. It sounds a bit out there, but it means they mark their time together with something more than your average holiday snaps. Sometimes, of course, one must suffer for one’s art. “The water at Jim Jim Falls was absolutely freezing, it took my breath away,” says Chown, 26. “And it was really deep, that black section below me was like an abyss. The whole time i was thinking, “Lets just get this done, get it over with...” ROSS BILTON