Jon Denaro Artist – Up Close & Personal

Jon Denaro

Western Australian artist Jon Denaro is passionate about using found objects that guide his creative journey to the unique art piece that results. It is the making process itself that Jon values most above and beyond the finished piece. This leaves the viewer with a sense of purity, as if the artworks are using Jon as a vessel to be created, to be seen, to take on a new life form.

Jon Denaro finished a BA Fine Arts in Hobart in 1989 and has enjoyed numerous solo and group exhibitions since. He has shared his knowledge in many mentor and teaching positions, and has contributed greatly to the Western Australian art scene with many public and private installations.

Enjoy Getting to know Jon Denaro …

When did you first feel the desire to be artistic and realize you had talent?

I come from a background where art has uncertain value. My artistic actions are drawn from life experiences really. I just make artistic things; they don’t always make sense. I make them principally for myself. I am still trying to figure out what I’m actually doing.

Where did you learn your art?

I consider myself to be self-taught, although I studied art formally. But I have studied a lot of things including engineering. I have always held a view that art presents an alternate cultural potential, that it ‘subverts the dominant paradigm’.

What inspires you most?

The ocean, old things, stuff I find, materials that have a history. Passion. My language is a fusion of that.

What message are you sending to the viewer of your art?

I try hard not to visualize literal, linear ideas, not to communicate set narratives. My work process is about exploration throughout the actual making itself. My recent solo show ‘The texture of making’ was a recycled title from a show at the Margaret River Gallery many years ago. What I am saying is that art can escape the ties of concept or design, understandable quotes, images and icons.  It is OK to to make it up as you go along on the journey. That approach is intrinsically more dangerous, more risky but more fluid with potential, I think.

Describe your studio…

I’ve had big industrial studios and now I have moved all that back to my own property. My main engineering workshop is built up from a sea container. It is like a ships store.

What mediums do you use and why?

I can work with anything. I love to find materials as a starting point. My processes are usually about adaptation from that point on. 

What are you working on now?

I’m making a sculpture for the Royal Perth Ballet using old ballet shoes. I’m working on some architectural commissions, doing a series of painting where I have started including figurative elements – peoples heads very abstract. I’m also working up an alliance with a young architect Luke Davies and we will be doing a large collaborative piece for Sculpture by the Sea in March based on my love of outback-handmade road signage.

What are your recent career achievements you feel proud of?

I don’t really think that way, I try to survive my art career. That’s it. I don’t expect that people get what I do generally or that life gets more comfortable because of my careerism. I’m also self sabotaging and even destructive. My painting for example is a sculptors painting where I use industrial paints and layered morphological references. I am always going in to each new layer with a fresh idea incongruous with the existing form.

What do you love most about what you do?

Freedom. I always thought that art would equal that somehow.

Where can you see yourself in 10 years time?

Our kids will be grown up then. I visualize a life of moving about more internationally with Bec, but staying productive on our own terms.

Artist Statement

Western Australian Sculptor and Painter Jon Denaro creates contemporary metal sculptures often finding inspiration in found objects that play an intricate part in the story of the resulting piece of art. Enjoying the hands on process of making, Jon Denaro’s sculptures maintain a unique individuality, they look “hand made” and non reproducible, opposing the streamlining that technology offers. Jon’s artworks are primarily sculptural, with the occasional abstract painting created to sit in balance with a chosen sculpture. The dynamic result is a play of objects, shapes, colour, a glimpse of recognisable v’s abstract, 3D sculpture v’s wall art, and Jon Denaro asks the viewer to contemplate the empty space between.


  • 1989    BA Fine Arts (Sculpture), University of Hobart, Hobart, Tasmania (TAS)
  • 1988    Diploma, Art and Design, Claremont School of Art, Claremont, Western Australia (WA)
  • 1986    Electrical Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland (QLD)
  • 1985    Post Grad., Navigation Systems, RAAF, Laverton Nav Aids
  • 1984    Post Grad., Art Traffic Control Surveillance, RAAF, Supp Com, Victoria (VIC)
  • 1980    Associate diploma RAAF School of Radio, Laverton, VIC
  • 1979    Town Planning, Gatton College, QLD

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2017    Texture of Making Moores Building Art Gallery Fremantle
  • 2016    Strange Passion Kidogo ArtsSpace Fremantle
  • 2015    Memory Structure Linton&Kay Perth
  • 2014    BIOMIMIC Linton&Kay Perth
  • 2009    Revelator. Gomboc Gallery Sculpture park.
  • 2009    Shape of Colour. Margaret River Gallery
  • 2008    Untitled, Libby Edwards, Brisbane, QLD and Sydney, New South Wales (NSW)
  • 2007    Biomemesis, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD
  • 2007    Oceanianism, Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Park, Middle Swan, WA
  • 2003    Super Nature, Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Park, Middle Swan, WA
  • 2002    New Sculptural Work, Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Park, Middle Swan, WA
  • 2001    Second Skin, Fremantle Art Centre, Fremantle, WA
  • 2000    Beautitude, (Artrage), Moore’s Building, Fremantle, WA
  • 1998    The Shape of Colour, Margaret River Gallery, Margaret River, WA
  • 1997    New Works, Margaret River Gallery, Margaret River, WA
  • 1996    The Shape of Modern, Delaney Gallery, Perth, WA
  • 1995    Artrage, PICA, Perth, WA
  • 1995    Information Super Highway Vehicles, Moore’s Building, Fremantle, WA
  • 1995    The Texture of Making, Margaret River Gallery, Margaret River, WA
  • 1993    Soul Shaped Devolution, Delaney Gallery, Perth, WA
  • 1989    Images, University of Tasmania Foyer Space, Hobart, TAS

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2007    Joondalup Invitation Exhibition, Joondalup, WA
  • 2006    City of Cockburn, WA
  • 2005    Artopia, Forrest Place, Perth, WA
  • 2005-2008    Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe, WA
  • 2004    Joondalup Invitational, Joondaulp, WA
  • 2003    Art 03 Invitational Award,  Perth, WA
  • 2003    Xanada Winery, Invitational, Margaret River, WA
  • 2002    City of Melville Art Award, Booragoon, WA
  • 2002    Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Park Anniversary Exhibition, Middle Swan, WA
  • 2002    Melbourne Art Fair, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2001    Symbiotica, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA (Research Residency)
  • 1999    Art Expo, Melbourne, VIC
  • 1999    Artwork in Progress, LIA Group, Margaret River, WA
  • 1998    Sculpture by the Sea, Albany, WA
  • 1998    Southwest Survey, BRAG Bunbury Regional Art Gallery, WA
  • 1995    Artrage, Perth, WA
  • 1995    Art Expo, Perth Entertainment Centre, Perth, WA
  • 1995    Title, Delaney Gallery, Perth, WA
  • 1994    New Directions, Margaret River Gallery, Margaret River, WA
  • 1994    Don’t Panic, Alternative Technology Centre, Margaret River, WA
  • 1994    Juniper Show, Monsoon Gallery, Broome, WA
  • 1993    Sculpture Survey, Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Park, Middle Swan, WA
  • 1992    Sublime, Bridgetown Artists Guild, WA
  • 1992    Survey, Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Park, Middle Swan, WA
  • 1992    Bannamah Gallery, Yallingup, WA
  • 1992    South West Survey, Bunbury Regional Gallery, Bunbury, WA
  • 1992    South West Survey, Bunbury Regional Gallery, Bunbury, WA
  • 1991    Sculpture Survey, Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Park, Middle Swan, WA
  • 1991    Artspace, Salamanca Art Space, Hobart, TAS

Projects & Commissions

  • 2017    ARM Urban housing architecture commmission- in progress
  • 2017    GKA Architects Fremantle Foreshore Marina- in progress
  • 2014    Deep Water Point Jetty Project- seating/community programs COMelvile
  • 2012     Aranmore Catholic School Leederville – Integrated sculture City of Vincent
  • 2011     PTA Perth Transport authority Greenwood Station large scale bike sculpture
  • 2010-12 Governor Stirling SHS- architectural cladding /sculpture
  • 2010    Western Power – Large scale Sculpture Safety Bay .
  • 2010    PalmBeach Architectural structure-Indiginous mentorship. City of Rockingham.
  • 2009    Z force Memorial Sculptures – COR BikeLab-Perth ChildrensFestival Artist program director
  • 2008    BHP,  City of Port Hedland, WA. –sculpture large scale
  • 2008    Civic Building Central foyer/ecternallarge scale sculpture series, City of Rockingham,
  • 2007    Mindarie Keys, Harbour entrance ,Mirvac-sculpture large scale
  • 2007    Perth Airport, 4 sculpture commission.
  • 2004    Salentine Ridge, POA design sculpture series/furnitureClough/Earthcare Fremantle
  • 2004    Indicator Pole, Shire of Serpentine , 42M Tall
  • 2004    Shire of Ballidu Main street Ballidu ,
  • 2004    City of Melville Sculpture Walk, Piney Lakes, .
  • 2001    Margaret River Public Library, Sculpture Commission.
  • 2000    Burswood Casino /Gaming floor steel ballastrade artpanels
  • 1999    Community Environment and Design Project, Margaret River Skate Park,.
  • 1999    Margaret River Aquatic Centre large indoor Mural,
  • 1996    Perth Children’s Arts Festival, Perth, WA.
  • 1996    Entry Statement, Riverdale Gardens, Yallingup, .
  • 1995    ARTRAGE Opening parade sculpture centrepiece, .
  • 1994    “Gasworks -series”, East Perth Redevelopment Authority, Perth,.
  • 1990    Busselton foreshore play structure series incl Flying Washingmachine, Busselton.

Grants & Prizes

  • 2007    ARTSWA Biomemesis Exhibition
  • 2005    CANWA R&D Grant, The Bike Laboratory Community Art
  • 2005    Professional Development Grant, ARTSWA
  • 2004    Bike Lab, CANWA
  • 2003    Five Schools Extension Projects, Department of Education
  • 2002    Excellence Award, City of Melville Art Award, Booragoon
  • 2000    Research Grant – Symbiotica/ ARTSWA


  • 2008    Mentorship and Community Art Program, City of Rockingham, WA
  • 2006    Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe, WA
  • 2004    Visual Arts, Jarrahdale Primary School, WA
  • 2004    Visual Arts, Wooroloo Primary School, WA
  • 2004    Visual Arts, Chidlow Primary School, WA
  • 2004    Specialist Visual Arts, Kalamunda Senior High School, WA
  • 2004    Holiday Sculpture Workshop, Mundaring Arts Centre, WA
  • 2004-2006    Awesome Cre8tive Challenge, Perth, WA
  • 2003    Visual Arts Extensions (Five Schools)
  • 2001    Visual Arts, Holiday Programme, Cottesloe, WA
  • 1999    Visual Arts, Margaret River Primary, High School and Margaret River Montessori, WA

Represented By

  • Kerry Stokes Collection
  • Town of Ballidu
  • PICA
  • Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Park
  • Artbank
  • ABC
  • Town of Busselton
  • City of Fremantle
  • Shire of Margaret River
  • City of Port Hedland
  • Woodside
  • Serpentine/Jarrahdale


  • Artbank 2003
  • Artbank 2000
  • Many private collections in Australia and overseas.

Jon Denaro Artwork at JahRoc Galleries

Jon Denareo Hydrodynamic Davinci Dream Sculpture
Hydrodynamic DaVinci Dream 1
mixed media and found objects
99cm x 42cm x 24cm
Jon Denaro Lazy Realisations Over Primordial Habits Sculpture
Lazy Realisations Over Primordial Habits
mixed media and found objects
61cm x 37cm x 19cm
Jon Denaro Alveoli Pump Action The Stuff That Each Breath Drives The Flower Sculpture
Alveoli Pump Action – The Stuff That Each Breath Drives The Flowers
mixed media and found objects
207cm x 68cm x 36cm
Jon Denaro Conditionally Accepted Repair Sculpture
Conditionally Accepted Repair
mixed media and found objects
67cm x 36cm x 16cm
Jon Denaro Victory Mansions Sculpture
Victory Mansions
mixed media and found objects
212cm x 58cm x 30.5cm
Jon Denaro Authenticity Chalice Investment Model Sculpture
Authenticity Chalice Investment Model
mixed media and found objects
76cm x 37cm x 13cm
Jon Denaro Wheatbix And Kerosene Painting
Wheatbix and Kerosene
mixed media and found objects
120cm x 90cm
Jon Denaro Meaningfully Significant Painting
Meaningfully Significant
mixed media and found objects
124cm x 95cm
Jon Denaro Hullness Of Cellular Survival Sculpture
Hullness of Celular Survival
mixed media and found objects
123cm x 53cm x 16.5cm

Jon Denaro Image Gallery

We currently have no sculptures by Jon Denaro at JahRoc Galleries.