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Brian Robinson

BRIAN ROBINSON | 'Cowries in a floral landscape' | Etching / 2015

BRIAN ROBINSON | 'Cowries in a floral landscape' | Etching / 2015

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Published in 2015 from an earlier plate from 2013, this blue print was released for Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2015.

Edition of 30

Published by Djumbunji Press KickArts Fine Art Printmaking

Image size: 290 x 490mm

Paper size: 590 x 850mm

Brian Robinson was born in 1973 and grew up in the idyllic tropical surroundings of the Torres Strait Islands, located between the tip of Cape York Peninsula and Papua New Guinea. During this time in his life, he gained valuable knowledge and appreciation of the culture of his people and was particularly influenced by the myths and legends of the Torres Strait, traditional motifs and the natural carving ability of the Islanders.

He commenced work with Cairns Regional Gallery in 1997 as a trainee curator through the Museums Australia Curatorial Internship program, the first Torres Strait Islander to be appointed through that program. The result of this internship has been a major achievement: the co-curating and tour management of ILAN PASIN: Torres Strait Art, the first major touring exhibition and catalogue of the traditional and contemporary material culture of the Torres Strait Island people. Since then, he has worked on numerous exhibitions, both locally, across the state and nationally.

Robinson is a multi-skilled contemporary artist, whose practice includes painting, printmaking, sculpture and design. The graphic style in his practice combines his Torres Strait Islander heritage with a strong passion for experimentation, both in theoretical approach and medium, as well as crossing the boundaries between reality and fantasy. The results combine styles as diverse as graffiti art through to intricate relief carvings and construction sculpture echoing images of Torres Strait cultural motifs, objects and activity.

His growing stature both as an artist, curator and as a highly informed representative of his people saw him appointed in 1999 to the Board of Trustees of the Queensland Art Gallery as its youngest member and the first Torres Strait Islander on the governing body of Queensland’s premier visual arts organisation. In 2000, he was appointed by Queensland Premier Peter Beattie to the Indigenous Reference Panel which over-sighted the production of the first Gatherings book and exhibition and presented government with a report into the further development of the Queensland Indigenous art industry – a report that has been largely adopted with strong support from the Premier.

In 2004, Robinson completed internships with both the National Museum of Australia and the National Gallery of Australia and has since collaborated on an exhibition with the Museum developed specifically for their exhibition space known as the Gallery for First Australians. He is now Exhibitions Manager and Deputy Director of Cairns Regional Gallery. Despite the demands of these positions, he has continued to develop a strong arts practice.

Robinson's work has contributed significantly to the environs of Cairns where he lives through a number of major public art installations, including the signature five stainless steel woven fish sculptures and fountain installed on the Cairns Esplanade in 2003. His work has been widely collected both privately and through major institutions both in Australia and overseas. In September 2010 Robinson will begin a 12 month Artists Residency at Djumbunji Press KickArts Fine Art Printmaking Studio.

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