David Middlebrook

D a v i d   M i d d l e b r o o k

Paroo Overflow Near Whitecliffs

My art practice is influenced by both Western and Eastern art history, which combine to create a narrative and platform allowing me to explore personal philosophies and political questions. My art takes me to the desert areas of Australia where I spend time to both learn and be in the landscape that drives my practice. I work from small drawings and studies done in the landscape, then return to the studio to further explore and expand the imagery. My work always revolves around the horizon, which I see as the unobtainable, a reason, a drive to continue and pursue the endless task of the perfect painting. 

Born in in Gloucester, New South Wales, David Middlebrook moved to Sydney in 1982, where he studied for two years with Billy Wallace and, subsequently, Desiderius Orban, painting still lifes and landscapes with a muted, tonal European palette while on a Society of the Arts scholarship to Trinity Grammar School.

In 1987, he relocated to Newcastle and commenced a Bachelor of Arts, Visual Arts, degree at the University of Newcastle. The majority of works from this period are large colour field paintings about minimalist landscapes. Three major paintings from this period are held in the collection of the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music.

Currently, Middlebrook paints desert landscapes with an emphasis on inhospitable and barren areas of Australia. He continues to challenge his vision of the Australian landscape, recently working in deliberate exile with a nine-week residency in Ningbo, China, looking at the relationship between Australia and China in art, culture and philosophy. His work was included in the Beijing Biennale of Art 2017 and was acquired by the National Museum of Art, Beijing, China.

He has had numerous solo exhibitions in Australia and internationally, including Sydney, South Korea, Hong Kong and China.

His work is represented in Broken Hill City Art Gallery; Newcastle Region Art Gallery; Maitland City Art Gallery; Muswellbrook City Art Gallery; Moree Plains Gallery; Forster/Tuncurry Regional Council; University of Newcastle, School of Fine Art; News Corporation, Sydney; William Bowmore Collection, Newcastle; Trinity Grammar School, Sydney; John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle; Newcastle Permanent Building Society; Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, University of Newcastle; Museum of the Senses, Sendai Japan; Crisp and Associates, Sydney, and Price Waterhouse Coopers, Canberra, and most regional galleries in New South Wales.

Elected a member of the Australian Watercolour Institute in 2017, David Middlebrook lives and works in Medlow Bath, Blue Mountains, New South Wales.



Copyright © Australian Watercolour Institute