Ten for Ten | 2019 | Series One with Philip Darnton

Philip Darnton is an international artist from the United Kingdom. His work is concerned with creating and exploring space and how that space can then be altered and affected. The piece is influenced by the mathematical models of Arthur Moritz Schoenflies. Some influence was derived from concepts present in skateboarding.
Writer Haley Smith spoke with Philip about what inspires his art practice, his connection and how this evolves to create beautiful works that connect to community.


Can you tell me one thing about your artwork that will make people stop and stare?

It will be bright and shiny, I can’t say it will make people stop and stare. In fact I doubt you could stare at it because it will be quite blinding in the sunlight.

 Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Architecture, mathematical models, minimalism, constructivism, and skateboarding. Also there are a group of British Artists that worked in St Ives in Cornwall that have been a strong influence (Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, etc) and Antony Gormley as well.

What motivates you to create your art?

Recently I haven’t been very motivated, but getting accepted into SWELL has been a massive motivation. I think this will help me become more motivated.

 Do you experience self-doubt or fear when it comes to creating art and how do you overcome it?

Definitely, all the time. I don’t really know how to overcome it to be honest. I think these things come in cycles, there is always an up and a down and everything else in between.

How long has it taken you to complete your SWELL Sculpture this year?

Well the original concept was from my last year in university where I made a small scale version. After being accepted into SWELL I had to redesign a lot of aspects on CAD. The actual build time I have available is a couple of weeks but overall the time it has been taken has been over 6 months including all drawing and conception.

 Can you tell me what impression you want your art piece to have on the public?

I just want people to be intrigued and enjoy it for what it is. I think it will be fun for people taking photos and videos with the reflections on the beach. I hope this piece appeals to everyone.

At what point in the day do you find you are the most creative and productive?

Probably after I’ve gone to bed and I’m trying to sleep, I often get back out of bed and start writing, drawing or designing. Often looking back in the morning rather confused but I’ve heard so many artists say how important it is to keep a notebook close at night to sketch down these late night ideas.

Are there any installations from other artists that you are excited to see this year?

There are a few, definitely Clayton’s pieces, he’s had a big influence on me. Also Tessa Bergen and Rebecca Cunningham because we all worked together on a project for Clayton so it’s amazing that we’re now all showing together here. I can’t wait to see Ivan Lovatt’s sculpture of Luther Cora. There’s lots of others I’m excited to see.

 Would you rather create art with your opposite hand or have a really annoying high-pitched noise play every time you try to do work?

I’ve been in the first situation before after shattering the metacarpals in my right hand. As long as my mind is operating then I think I would be able to train my opposite hand to make art but I reckon a high pitched noise would be impossible to work with.

If you could only use one material to make art for the rest of your life, what would you use?

Probably not acrylic, something that grows.


Haley Smith is an emerging writer and creative from the Gold Coast. She has had an active blog for over ten years where she shares her short stories, poetry and travelling adventures. She has founded a Podcast; Atomic Sunflowers. Here she shares stories about creative living beyond fear, mental health and balancing the creative mind.

Follow her on Instagram @haleylaurensmith or her blog www.haleylaurensmith.com

Ruth Della