Darren Cooper was born at West Wyalong in Wiradjuri country on the 22nd May 1970.
Darren Cooper is a part of the Redfern Aboriginal community and a member of Metro Land Council. During his childhood Darren suffered abuses and subsequently found a home at the Sunnylands Boys Home in Alstonville where he became a ward of the state. It was here that Darren first discovered painting in 1981.
It was in 1993, spurred on by the lack of connection to his family and the Aboriginal community, Darren pursued a career in art. His artistic expression provided an outlet to help reconnect him with his Aboriginal identity.
“I found that being away from my family and community the people I worked with became a lot of who I was. I struggled to find myself and what I wanted to be. I made a decision that the person I was going to be would be a success.”
A life changing decision to search for belonging amongst his own led Darren to the Aboriginal community in Coffs Harbour. It was here Darren learnt the value of belonging to the Aboriginal community and fulfilling his role within that community. As a result, Darren became serious about his art as a tool for him to express himself.
“I knew immediately art would become a tool to allow me to stand up for my people and become the success I always promised myself I would be. I use art to communicate with other Aboriginal people and remain connected to the Aboriginal community.”
Today Darren stands as a proud Wiradjuri man and a member of the Redfern Aboriginal community.
“My art is something I can share with others. It gives me is a means of keeping the Aboriginal tradition of story-telling alive and I am proud to be a part of that. Most of all art has helped me reconnect with my Aboriginal identity and helped me find security in being able to recognise the traditional lifestyle of my people.”
His career as an artist has taken him to Austria commissioned by Swarvoski to showcase Aboriginal art and culture along side such greats as Ken Done, Salvador Dali and Brian Eno. Locally, his work has been commissioned by the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council for the 1999-2000 State election campaign and, the 2000 and 2004 Aboriginal Health Workers Journal.
Darren describes himself as a contemporary Aboriginal artist and whose style is contemporary modern mixed with traditional elements with a technique unique in that he utilises modern methods to enhance the traditional themes addressed in all of his artworks.
Darren owns and manages Cooper’s Koori Creations. His art gallery and studio is located in the heart of Redfern where all of his work is done. His art works include canvas, mosaics, murals, wood sculptures, traditional objects such as boomerangs and didgeridoos, fabric screen prints for homewares.