Painting | Utah Artists - D

Erin Darby

Erin Darby is a Utah-based, interdisciplinary artist who works across painting, drawing, and printmaking. Darby draws inspiration from the natural world around and within her. Working with abstracted biological and scientific forms, she layers these shapes and repeating patterns atop each other to exemplify the unique and microcosmic relationship human beings have with the cosmos. By drawing these connections and placing them in a visual space together, Darby aims to induce a recognition of “like” in the viewer, pushing towards empathy and inviting them to take part in something beyond this physical reality.

Darby is currently a student at Utah Valley University and will graduate in the Spring of 2024 with a BFA in Painting and Drawing and a minor in Art History.

There exists in every human being an innate desire, a need, to declare “I am here”, or at least that they were there. We see this desire in ancient artworks, such as handprints on a cave wall, as well as in modern artworks, say, a graffiti tag on an underpass. The “compression” occurs when one is able to recognize the connection across time. A similar “compression” occurs across space, and seeing humans as a microcosm of the universe exemplifies the recognition of “like” in all other beings, pushing us towards empathy. By using these abstracted forms and borrowed colors from nature, I create work that connects the senses and creates a richer understanding of the human mind, our relationship to the world we inhabit, and our movement through the four dimensions of space. By using recognizable patterns, symbols, motifs, and forms from the natural, scientific world to depict a compression of time and space, I invoke themes of memory, nostalgia, and ultimately empathy as there occurs a recognition of “like” across time and space in the viewers own memory of their life experience which culminates in a realization that the human experience is but a node on the neural pathways of the greater cosmos. Each of us is inherently a part of a greater whole in a way that cannot be denied. By using these repeating forms, figures, and shapes, I physically have to begin to repeat motions and actions with my own body, bringing me in tandem with the universe as I embody and accept my own microcosm of the greater whole. These repeating actions as well as repeated shapes and forms layered upon themselves echo the ways that the universe echoes back upon itself, reminding the viewer that the visual poetry is all around us; that daily life can’t help but be imbued with the richness of paralleled connections.


Erin Darby, “Flux,” 2023 oil on canvas, 24 x 18 in.


Erin Darby, “Twenty-Two Years,” 2023, oil on canvas, 24 x 18 in.


Erin Darby, “Piano Out of a Woodchipper,” 2023, oil on panel, 24 x 48 in.


Erin Darby, “I, Comet,” 2023 oil on canvas, 24 x 48 in.


Erin Darby, “Eternal Return,” ink on stonehenge paper, 17.25 x 26.5 in.

Categories: Painting | Utah Artists - D

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