Blog

Brian Robinson

By: Dr Stan Florek, Category: Science, Date: 21 Oct 2015

Linking Melanesian Art and Culture.

Brian Robinson

Brian Robinson
Photographer: Stan Florek © Australian Museum

For one of his next projects artist Brian Robinson is preparing an exhibition at Cairns Regional Gallery in collaboration with its Director Andrea Churcher and Curator Dr Sally Butler from the University of Queensland.

Some food for artistic inspiration was found, surprise surprise, at the Australian Museum. It is not an accident, because Brian is exploring cultural links between his homeland in (western) Torres Strait and the larger cultural universe of Melanesia. And the Australian Museum holds a sizeable collection from the 19th and early 20th century Torres Strait Islanders as well as a large Melanesian collection.

Furthermore Brian is not a stranger to the Australian Museum; we proudly hold a few of his linocut prints and a small sculpture of Githalai (Crab 2008).

Brian is a well-established and recognised artist in his mid-career with ample credentials in contemporary Torres Strait Islander’s visual iconography that was developed in the last two decades or so by a group of his contemporary artists of which he was an active member. But he frequently departs from this distinctive visual style, relentlessly exploring other forms of visual expression in two-dimensional and sculptural work.

Brian Robinson is the recipient of various awards including the Western Australian Indigenous Art Award 2013. He produced a number of public works with a prominent steel woven fish figures and fountain on the Cairns Esplanade (2003).

His work is present in some prominent public collections, including National Gallery of Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria, Australian National Maritime Museum, Jean-Mariwe Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Noumea, New Caledonia and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at the University of Virginia, USA.

So, we are pleased to be involved, if only in a small way, in Brian’s next art exhibition, which may also include some artefacts form our Collection that provide, in part, inspiration for his new body of work.