About Darien


Darien small (800x600)

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.

20+20 Exhibition

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.”

Heather Horrocks

“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.”

Erika Gofton

“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.”

Heath Lander

“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.”

Darien Pullen


self portrait in gallery (1024x768)

Main Exhibitions, Projects and Commissions

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