Canberra-based contemporary artist Ham Darroch works in sculpture, performance and drawing. His artistic practice draws on recognisable objects of both everyday life and of art history to create abstract works that, through careful referencing of shared histories and experiences, appear effortlessly comforting and familiar.
He studied at the Australian National University and University of New South Wales, and has subsequently worked as a studio assistant to the renowned British artist Bridget Riley.
His works are held in numerous places including the Bundanon Trust collection, Brazilian Embassy, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Canberra Museum and Gallery, and private collections in Australia and the United Kingdom. Widespread admiration for his art continues to grow. In 2017, Ham won the Rosalie Gascoigne Memorial Award for contemporary art.
Ham Darroch lived in London working as an assistant to British painter Bridget Riley, a leading proponent of twentieth-century Op art and hard-edge abstraction. This experience continues to inform Darroch’s practice. In Orbit 5 (2016), the mixture of sharp edges and contrasting colours show an artist deeply attuned to the optical effects of colouration and geometry. The cobalt arc pronounced by a yellow border appears at first to be setting while enveloping mountainous discs revolve around it. Reminiscent of a landscape, these forms present as inanimate objects yet through the artist’s intuitive grasp of geometric colour, they come to rest within the image as subjects of a domestic still life.