Darren Booth: We Are Much the Same

Darren Booth, Breakthrough, 2023, Mixed media on wood panel, 12″x12″

Darren Booth: We Are Much the Same

November 18 – December 2, 2023
Opening Reception: November 18, 2–5pm
Niagara Artists Centre (NAC), St. Catharines, ON

Curator: Nathan Heuvingh

Exhibition Statement

We Are Much the Same is a solo exhibition of recent work created by artist and illustrator Darren Booth. The exhibition reflects an ongoing journey to understand and articulate the complexities of anxiety, familial ties and various ways of coping and making sense of these dynamics as they travel through generations. By highlighting the interplay of family history and our sense of self, Booth seeks to encourage a deeper understanding and appreciation of the threads that bind us to our past and shape our present.

Booth’s artistic process involves a meticulous fusion of paint, collage and distinctive colour palettes, resulting in a striking and immersive experience for viewers. A unique tension exists within the work in this exhibition exploring the interplay between discomfort and relief through abstract shapes, bold colours, vibrant hues, textures and evolving configurations. In some instances these elements coalesce into gentle, flowing forms, while in others, they manifest through sharp, defiant edges, resisting conformity. This continuous push and pull between calm and distress evokes the ever-changing landscape of often unexplored emotions we navigate daily.

Darren Booth, We Are Much the Same #4, 2023, Collage on wood sculpture, 8.5″x8.5″x5.5″

A collection of paintings on wood panels are the anchor for this exhibition, incorporating large geometric shapes that reflect a visual language seen throughout Booth’s work. Complimenting these paintings is an intriguing collection of antique bottles adorned with finely crafted collage elements producing a subtle folk art aesthetic. 3D modular wood sculptures, embellished with collaged shapes in a distinct Delft Blue colouring, crafted from family photographs, reference Booth’s family heritage. Each sculpture stands as a testament to his continuous journey to delve into his ancestral roots, acting as another connective strand that ties him to his history and underscores his commitment to understanding and engaging with his past.

The act of disassembling and reshaping throughout this body of work reflects a tactile engagement with family history and anxiety, dismantling the past to make meaning, propelling memory from the subconscious into a tangible, conscious realm. The repeating themes and aesthetic across this body of work showcase an intentional crafting of a unified artistic vision. The works in this exhibition stand alone in their individual merit, but when viewed collectively, they weave a cohesive narrative that explores the complex connections between mental health, identity and family histories.

Darren Booth, Off-Kilter, 2023, Mixed media on wood panel, 36″x36″

Artist Statement

Darren Booth’s work primarily delves into illustration, portraiture, lettering and abstraction. His creative process is intuitive and iterative, with each piece evolving as he experiments with mixed media and digital tools blending traditional and digital techniques. For Booth, innovation is not just a method but a necessity, facilitating artistic growth while paving the way for fresh ideas and perspectives to emerge.

Expressing himself through a unique painterly-collage style, he has developed a rich visual vocabulary that allows him to navigate his relationship with anxiety. Booth utilizes systems of shape and scale, masterfully employing vibrant colours combined with textures to evoke emotions while conveying profound meanings, often fluctuating between abstraction and minimalism. He consciously preserves the imperfections in his art, a choice that imbues his work with an authentic touch of humanity often lacking in an increasingly digital world. Central to Booth’s artistic process is the deep connection he fosters with his audience, producing universal art that resonates on a personal level. His goal is to engage the viewer, inviting them into a world that is both familiar and surprising.

Darren Booth, And the Cycle Repeats, 2023, Mixed media on wood panel, 36″x36″

Artist Bio

Darren Booth is a distinguished visual artist and illustrator, with a practice spanning over 20 years in the realm of art and design. His innovative approach to artistry is a fusion of intuition and iteration. With a penchant for blending traditional craftsmanship with cutting-edge digital tools, Booth’s mastery in mixed media reflects his insatiable desire to evolve. His creative journey spans a multitude of mediums – from intricate illustrations to expansive public art murals and commissions. Booth has lent his creative insight to a host of prominent names, including Willie Nelson, Steve Martin and Kathleen Edwards, to name a few. His works have been featured at prominent sites including the National Portrait Gallery, the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC and has been exhibited internationally. His creations have also illuminated screens on Late Night with David Letterman, the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and have been spotlighted in esteemed publications including the Washington Post, The New York Times, The Globe & Mail, Billboard Magazine and The Los Angeles Times.

Artist website: www.darrenbooth.com
Artist Instagram: @darrenbooth

General contact: darren@darrenbooth.com

Niagara Artists Centre (NAC)
354 St. Paul Street
St. Catharines, ON L2R 3N2