Born with a pencil in his hand

Born with a pencil in his hand

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Brian Robinson with Tithuyil (moving with the rhythm of the stars). Photograph — Aaron Van Rongen.

Through his works Brian Robinson is able to deliver an intoxicating view of the world. But today he is marking the last decade of his acclaimed multiaward-winning contemporary practice.

Mr Robinson is bringing an exciting collection of print, assemblages and sculptural work as part of his Tithuyil (moving with the rhythm of the stars) exhibition.

Curated by John Curtin Gallery, the exhibition will be open to the public from October 6 to December 8.

Mr Robinson said the artworks presented in Tithuyil look at life in the Torres Strait with a bit of a twist.

“The works reference ancestral knowledge, history, mythology, global popular culture and humour,” he said.

“They embrace many aspects of Torres Strait Islander tradition but are geared towards contemporary practice and audiences, both male and female, young and old.”

Mr Robinson’s passion for art has been part of who he is for as long as he can remember.

“I often say that I was born with a pencil in my hand because I was quite creative from the outset,” he said.

“No surface was sacred for me, I drew on pretty much everything from the kitchen table to household walls, to windows to the back fence… pretty much everywhere.”

Mr Robinson grew up in the Torres Strait Islands and during this time he gained an appreciation of the culture of his people and was influenced by the myths and legends of the Torres Strait and the natural carving ability of the Islanders.

“I recall winning my first art prize at the age of seven at a primary school art competition with a coloured drawing of Batman,” he said.

“That connection with super heroes has continued because I often add these characters into my print work.”

According to Mr Robinson he has built a strong connection in Perth and the state of Western Australia since he first came in 2009 to co-judge the Fremantle Print Award.

“I won the Western Australia Indigenous Art Award in 2013 and the People’s Choice Award at that same exhibition, the inaugural Collie Art Prize in 2018 as well as a collecting a number of other accolades over the years,” he said.

After displaying his exhibition in Perth half of the art works are going to Kluge Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at the University of Virginia in February and the other half is going to the Australian embassy in Washington.