This is Vicki Darken

Vicki Darken was born in March 1923, Darken was an Australian landscape painter, based in the Northern Territory.

Vicki Darken was born in Darwin, Northern Territory, she was the daughter of Charles Ormond. She attended Parap Primary school and later on studied Commercial subjects in Darwin, at St. Joseph’s school. As Vicki Ormond she was elected the first Miss Northern Territory.

Vicki Darken was an Australian Post War & Contemporary painter, Darken’s work has been offered at auction multiple times, with realized prices ranging from 24 USD to 58 USD, depending on the size and medium of the artwork. In 1968, Darken was awarded a Churchill Fellowship which enabled her to study painting in Europe. She established her own gallery in 1977. Vicki Darken’s work has been presented to the Queen, Princess Anne, and Prince Charles.

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Since 2015 the record price for this artist at auction is 58 USD for At Simpson Gap Reserve, sold at Lawsons in 2020.

The first Miss Northern Territory (Vicki Ormond) married in 1942 to constable Bob Darken, their tent honeymoon gave Honeymoon Gap its name; a “pioneer” who lived in rough conditions at outposts like Hart’s Range; all police duties fell to her if Bob was on patrol. When he resigned in 1950, the couple bought Simpsons Gap station; moved to Alice Springs when it became a Reserve.

There are no records of the loneliness of the early police wives; but life had hardly changed by 1945, when Vicki Darken lived with her husband at Harts Range Police Station. She later recorded her feelings of isolation at the small bush Police Station: ‘In those days there was no police vehicle. We didn’t have anything but horses. When he wasn’t there I had to cope [alone] I hated it’.

It doesn’t take much imagination to understand how much more lonely it must have been for earlier wives who were on their own for longer periods and even further from the nearest town.

Vicki Darken died at Alice Springs, Northern Territory aged 91.

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