Darien was born in Sydney and grew up in Canberra. After studying at the National Art School in Sydney and at the Canberra School of Art, he moved to Melbourne. He graduated from Prahran College of Advanced Education with a major in Painting and sub-majors in Drawing and Printmaking.
In 1984 he began working for Meridian Sculpture, a prominent Melbourne foundry, and has worked with many highly regarded Australian sculptors including John Dowie, Jan Brown, Peter Corlett, Brett Whiteley and Robert Klippel. In 1985 he began his teaching career at Chisholm Institute of Technology, Melbourne (Monash University), and at the Council of Adult Education. In 1992 he began his long association with Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC) where he began teaching Painting and Drawing. This has led to Master Classes, Life Drawing, Individual Workshops, Children’s Art Classes and the curating of many exhibitions. Darien divides his studio time between painting, drawing and sculpture in his Melbourne studio.
He continues to work at Meridian Sculpture foundry making moulds, preparing waxes for bronze casting, and working on collaborative sculpture projects.
He has travelled extensively throughout Europe, USA and Central America.
Main Exhibitions, Projects and Commissions
2022 Professor Jubb and Professor Blood sculpture portrait commission for Melbourne University, Werribee Campus
Gudinski Memorial sculpture commission, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
2021 Mother Mary sculpture commission, Fawkner Memorial Park, Melbourne
Fairies commission for Minta Estate, Berwick, Victoria
2020 Tuckerbox Puppies commission, Gundagai, New South Wales
2019 Michael Gudinski sculpture commission, Suffolk, UK
2018 Personal Experience, Group Exhibition, Roslyn Smorgon Gallery, Footscray, Victoria
White Dog sculpture commission for White Dog Pilates Studio, Footscray, Victoria
2017 Yarri sculpture commission for Cootamundra-Gundagai Council, New South Wales
2016 fr. Geoghegan sculpture commission for St Francis Church, Melbourne
St Patrick sculpture commission for Australian Catholic University, Melbourne Campus
2015 Marrickville Winged Victory, sculpture commission for Marrickville Council, Sydney
2014 20+20; FCAC, Melbourne
Drawing Commission, Bethany Primary School, Tarneit, Melbourne
Sculpture Commission, creating bronze logo for St Ali Coffee House, Melbourne
2013 Sculpture Commission, Gantner family, Melbourne
2012 Apples from the Tree; group exhibition, Roslyn Smorgon Gallery, Melbourne
Decorative sculptures for Crown Casino, Melbourne
2010 Artists’ Books; Group Exhibition, Elsie Gallery, Malmsbury, Victoria
Sculpture commission, Melbourne Rebels Shield, Melbourne
2009 Icarus Project; Collaboration with Jan Brown, Canberra
2008 Bid 4 Freedom; Art Exhibition and Auction, Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Melbourne
2007 Paintings and Drawings by Darien Pullen, Elsie Gallery, Malmsbury, Victoria
2006 Toorak Village Festival of Sculpture; Group Exhibition, Melbourne
The Still Life Show, MREAM Studios and Gallery, Melbourne
19 Australian Artists; Holden Gallery, North Carolina, USA
2005 Toorak Village Festival of Sculpture; Group Exhibition, Melbourne
2003 Sculpture Group Exhibition, Brian Moore Gallery, Sydney
2002 Naked; Group Exhibition, Brian Moore Gallery, Sydney
Bloke; Group Exhibition, Collingwood Gallery, Melbourne
Strange Fruits; Group Exhibition, MREAM Gallery, Melbourne
2001 MREAM Group Show; Footscray, Melbourne
2000 Sculpture Commission, Murdoch Family, Melbourne
ANZAC Memorial Sculpture, Museum of Australia, Canberra
1999 Regroup ;Group Exhibition, Gabriel Gallery, FCAC, Melbourne
Digit Award, Sculpture Commission, Melbourne
1997 Group Show, Ryco Warehouse, Footscray, Melbourne
Hoechst Art Competition; Special Merit Awards, Altona, Melbourne
1996 Meridian Bronzes, Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale, Victoria
1994 Christmas Group Show, Meridian Gallery, Melbourne
Sculpture at Ashcombe Maze, Shoreham, Victoria
1993 Tutor’s Exhibition, Gabriel Gallery, FCAC, Melbourne
1992 Alice Bale Award Finalist, Melbourne
Christmas Group Show, Meridian Gallery, Melbourne Alice Bale Award Finalist, Melbourne
Saltwater River Festival Art Show, Melbourne
1991 Saltwater River Festival Art Show, Melbourne
1989 Group Exhibition, Green Frog Galleries, Prahran, Melbourne
1988 Fifty Fine Artists, Art Craft 88, Royal Melbourne Showgrounds
Bodyline, Print Guild Gallery, Melbourne
Ceramic Design, Group Exhibition, Chisholm Institute of Technology, Melbourne
1986 Works on Paper, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne
1985 The Meridian Show, Sturt and Nolan Gallery, Melbourne
1981 Various Images – Paintings by Younger Artists, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne
Susie Parry and Darien Pullen – Paintings, Hawthorn City Art Gallery, Melbourne
1977 Solo Exhibition, La Perouse Gallery, Canberra
20+20 Exhibition Information
Footscray Community Arts Centre
2 Oct – 2 Nov 2014
Excerpts from the program:
FCAC life members and dedicated artist-tutors, Darien Pullen and Robert Mangion, have been challenging, inspiring and working with local artists in a community context for more than 20 years.
This exhibition showcases these two very different artists and explores their continuing influence on the artists they have taught.
“Of all the art joints, in all the towns, in all the world, I walk into this one – where a gentle, perspicacious prince of drawing taught me to see. This place is my Casablanca and FCAC runs the bar. I can’t leave. Here’s looking at you Darien!
Darien Pullen, sculptor, cast five small crochet flowers in bronze because we’d had a discussion about gender balance in art. This one, in a box with a bullet, a stick of driftwood, a tea tray and some tea-dyed silk, carries memories of what has been and portents of what is to come.”
“Darien’s gentle and encouraging approach always meant that the class was an environment where you would get genuine constructive feedback while being challenged to move forward in your practice. He has been a great role model in my own teaching for how to be an encouraging and generous teacher while still challenging you as an artist.”
“These works are representative of work influenced by my years working with Darien, our shared passion for mark making, and my ongoing interest in the tradition of animal portraiture.
Darien’s effect on me as an artist and as a person was delightfully unexpected – a decade after leaving art school I chanced upon his classes at FCAC, in 2004-5. I learn as much from the way Darien conducts himself as a teacher and as a human being as I do from his actual lessons: characterised by humility, humour, rigour and patience.”
“To make art is one of the most subjective things to do. The challenge is to gain some objectivity; to see clearly what has just been done and to see how it measures up – whether it deserves a life of its own or needs modification or abandoning. To gain this objectivity we all need the input of others. Advice, direction and
criticism are profoundly valuable. They stop us marking time. They help eliminate what Rothko called “the obstacles between the painter and the idea.” This input can come from a fellow artist, a friend, a stranger or a teacher. The role of the tutor in a place like FCAC can take any of these forms and the influence can be significant and it can be subtle. It can go unrecognised, or only recognised long after the fact. That is the nature of teaching.
I don’t pretend that I was a major influence on the work of these artists, but their presence here acknowledges in some way the contribution my classes have had to their body of work.”