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Born in Sheffield, England, in 1960, David Bromley came to Australia as a small child. He is currently based in Adelaide and, since the mid-1980s, has had exhibitions in Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart and Adelaide. He has had portraits hung in the Archibald Prize, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, in 1999 and 2001, and is represented in state gallery collections and numerous corporate and private collections throughout Australia.
Influenced by artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Glen Baxter, and the characters and style of children's books such as the once-popular Boys Own Annuals, David Bromley is represented by four distinctive paintings in the collection. The first was purchased in 1989 and the most recent, Looking for direction, in 1996.
About the works
In an artist's statement, May 1997, David Bromley wrote:
I find it interesting to write about my work... I weave through my thoughts and feelings searching for words to parallel the visual. As a presenter of images I express myself through paint and I don't always have a verbal explanation for my outpourings on canvas – perhaps this is why there is some ambiguity in the narrative in my paintings. I don't always like to reveal a definite outcome to the scenarios in my works and prefer the viewer to make their own decision... We all attach different meanings to things based upon our own experiences, opinions and desires. I don't want to eliminate other interesting possibilities...
People often ask me where my interest in the sea comes from. I don't need to explain the relevance of the ocean to most [Australians]. I believe that the ocean and its icons – including the vessels that travel upon it, are filled with an incredible sense of drama. The people portrayed in my work are experiencing their own personal, emotional and physical dramas; the sea provides a wonderful arena upon which they can travel. The sea has its own personality, the horizon itself has romance. You look at it and wonder what lies beyond.
Works in the Allens collection
Fall out 1989
acrylic on canvas, 136 x 111cm
Jump before you are pushed 1992
acrylic on canvas, 137 x 111cm
Not so cherry cherry boy 1995
acrylic on paper, 73 x 95cm
Looking for direction 1996
acrylic on canvas, 125 x 155cm