David Middlebrook

View Available Works

                                                                                                     Photo: Ryan Fitzgerald


The horizon and landscape is the dominant theme in David Middlebrook’s paintings and drawings. He sees the horizon as a metaphor for the unobtainable perfect painting, a form of exploration, man against the landscape, striving for yet never reaching the destination. His work includes oil paintings and sepia drawings of the Australian desert. The works in this exhibition in particular are around Menindee Lakes, Mutawintji, and White Cliffs, all in the far west of NSW.

The central horizon line allows him to explore colour, microcosm and macrocosm, perspective, tone and form within this landscape narrative. Middlebrook’s work starts with minimalist drawings done in the landscape, getting a sense of form and knowledge of local geography. This then expands into sepia works that explore the minimalism of the landscape with the addition of marks suggesting foliage, watercourses, dry ridges and other natural forms. The larger of these works are done in the studio, which allows even more of a distillation and essence of place. The oil paintings then work parallel to these drawings. Colour is intuitive and Middlebrook is lucky to have a memory that allows him to recall accurate nuances of a particular environment. There are striking aesthetic differences between the paintings and drawings, yet both come about through an obsessive practice and a unique approach. His work is quiet, with meditative qualities, suggesting more of a response to, rather than a depiction of place.

Middlebrook was awarded a PhD (University of Newcastle) for his research and body of work in Australian landscape painting and art history in 2006. His career spans 25 years, with over 30 solo exhibitions and works in numerous public and private collections. Middlebrook’s recent exhibitions include ‘Art from Australia’, Seoul, South Korea and Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Art Atrium. He is currently working on an exhibition for Art Central, Hong Kong International Art Fair in March 2017. This is his second solo exhibition at Lost Bear Gallery, Katoomba.



Dry arid places, flooded deserts, isolation and alienation, the unreachable horizon, a fascination with Australian exploration and literature, these and many other reasons are why I'm compelled to draw and paint the landscape. My work allows me time out in an ever increasing world of visual, political, and screaming personalities . My images are  build up with chattered marks across the surface in either oil paint or ink, a slow ponderous build up of repetitious marks allowing a personal meditation.

My work  starts with drawings in pen and ink, done in the landscape, small mostly sepia and in sketchbooks. These are then worked up through larger sepia works on paper,  before returning to the studio where I develop these images further into oil paintings and large scale works on paper. This process allows me to create a sense of place without a literal interpretation of the landscape.
I strongly believe in the concepts of ‘Content and Technique’, art should always be about more than an image, it needs to have a philosophical base as well as a flawless technical skill.

David Middlebrook



1967               Born Gloucester, New South Wales
1990               Bachelor of Arts/Visual Arts, University of Newcastle
2006               PhD, Exploring the Horizon, a Journey with Voss and Ada, University of Newcastle
2007 - 2015    Sessional Lecturer in Painting, Drawing and Art History, University of Newcastle
2010               Moved to Medlow Bath, Blue Mountains


2016               Lost Bear Gallery, Katoomba
2015               Blue Mountains Regional Art Gallery, Katoomba
                      Art Atrium, Sydney
                      Lost Bear Gallery, Katoomba
2011               Rex-Livingston Art Dealer
                      Cudgegong Galleries, Gulgong
2010               Rex-Livingston Art Dealer
2009               Rex-Livingston Art Dealer
2008               Cudgegong Galleries, Gulgong
                      John Miller Galleries, Newcastle
2007               Gallery G, Brisbane
2006               Moree Plains Gallery
2006               Back to Back Gallery, Newcastle
                      Stella Downer Fine Art, Sydney
2005               University of Newcastle
2004               John Miller Galleries, Newcastle
                      Stella Downer Fine Art, Sydney
2003               Arts Promotion Queensland, Brisbane.
2002               Stella Downer Fine Art, Sydney
                      von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle
2001               Lake Russell Gallery, Coffs Harbour
2000               von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle
1999               Survey Exhibition, Maitland City Art Gallery
                      Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane
                      von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle
1998               Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane
1997               King Street Galleries Newtown Sydney
                      von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle
1996               Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1995               Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery
                      von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle
1994               Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1993               von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle
1991               Newcastle Region Art Gallery
                      von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle



2016               Art Atrium at Walsh Bay, Sydney Packsaddle, New England Regional         
                      Art Gallery; Tattersalls Art Prize, Brisbane
2015               Korean Cultural Centre, Sydney; Sydney Contemporary Art Fair,Sydney; Art from Australia, Gail Museum, Seoul, Korea;
                      Packsaddle Exhibition, New England Regional Gallery; University of Newcastle
2014               Art Atrium, Sydney; Packsaddle Exhibition, New England Regional Gallery; Lost Bear Gallery, Katoomba; Art Equity, Sydney
2013               Geographic Responses to Landscape, University of Newcastle
2013               Paddington Art Prize, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
2002 - 2015    Tattersall’s Bendigo Bank Art Prize, Brisbane (Winner 2002)
2012               Artsite Gallery, Sydney
2009               Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery
2008 - 2011    Rex-Livingston Art Dealer, Sydney
2007               Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery
2007               John Miller Galleries, Newcastle.
2006               Gallery G, Brisbane
2005               Arts Promotion Queensland; Beaver Galleries, Canberra;
                      Broken Hill City Art Gallery
2002 - 2008    Taylor Galleries, Summer Hill
2002 - 2004    Stella Downer Fine Art, Sydney; Beaver Galleries, Canberra;
                      John Miller Galleries, Newcastle; Newcastle Region Art Gallery
2000 - 2004    Art Galleries Schubert, Gold Coast
1997 - 2002    Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane
1997 - 1999    King Street Gallery, Sydney
1995 - 1996    Solander Gallery, Canberra
1994 - 1996    Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney
1990 - 2003    von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle
1989 - 2004    Delmar Gallery, Sydney



Broken Hill City Art Gallery; Newcastle Region Art Gallery; Maitland City Art Gallery; Muswellbrook City Art Gallery; Moree Plains Gallery; Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery; Tattersalls Club, Brisbane; Forster/Tuncurry Regional Council; University of Newcastle, School of Fine Art; News Corporation, Sydney; William Bowmore Collection; Museum of the Senses, Sendai Japan; Trinity Grammar School, Summer Hill; John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle; Newcastle Permanent Building Society; Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, University of Newcastle; Crisp and Associates, Sydney; Price Waterhouse Coopers, Canberra.

View Available Works

Available Booklet

Prior Exhibitions at Lost Bear Gallery

View 2016 Exhibition

View 2015 Exhibition

Copyright © 2018 Lost Bear Gallery | Site Designed & Built by iVent Services