Departure T
Boy and cat

Born Ballarat, Victoria, Australia 1956


A Melbourne artist, David Larwill trained at Prahran College of Advanced Education (1975) and Preston Institute of Technology (1980). He is best known for his association with ROAR Studios of which he was a founding member in the 1980s. ROAR evolved in reaction to the perceived overly theorised contemporary art of the day, and sought to offer redress by supporting art that was more accessible and community minded.

Inspired by the work of Australian artists Danila Vassilieff, Sidney Nolan and Joy Hester, Indigenous art, as well as Pablo Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Paul Klee, Larwill’s paintings are characterised by their powerful visual language and raw expressiveness. Featuring stylised figures and animals, his works derive much of their impact from his bold palette in which red and black often predominates.

In 1983 Larwill held his first exhibition with the United Artists group and has since exhibited regularly. He has held numerous solo exhibitions and has been included in the group exhibitions Vox Pop, National Gallery of Victoria (1984), Modern Masters, National Gallery of Victoria (1986), and A Horse Show, Heide (1988). In 1985 Larwill was commissioned by the Victorian Government to decorate a Melbourne tram. The following year, with other ROAR artists, he created a mural for the restaurant of the National Gallery of Australia. A touring survey exhibition of his work was organised by Ballarat Fine Art Gallery in 2002–03.

His work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and other significant public collections.