Brian Robinson "Waterworld of Waiben where warual swim through", 2013, ink on paper © The Artist

Brian Robinson “Waterworld of Waiben where warual swim through”, 2013, ink on paper © The Artist

Brian Robinson: Tithuyil (Moving with the Rhythm of the Stars) presents a selection of prints and sculptural works from the last several years. 

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.

Brian Robinson will visit the Kluge-Ruhe Collection as a resident artist from February 8 – March 8, 2020. He will work with UVA students in the printmaking and sculpture studios at UVA, and will give a number of public talks.

Brian Robinson was born in 1973 on Waiben (Thursday Island) and is of the Maluyligal and Wuthathi language groups of the Torres Strait and Cape York Peninsula, and is a descendant of the Dayak people of Malaysia. He 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 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, and the traditional motifs and natural carving ability of the Islanders. Now Cairns-based, Robinson is known for his printmaking, sculpture and public art in which he uses a variety of techniques.

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 Gallery for First Australians. Until August 2010 he was Exhibitions Manager and Deputy Director of Cairns Regional Gallery and, despite the demands of these positions, he continued to develop a strong arts practice. Robinson left the Gallery to concentrate on his art practice full-time, commencing with a 12-month Artist Residency at Djumbunji Press KickArts Fine Art Printmaking Studio, Cairns. He is an award-winning artist and his work is held in all of the major public collections in Australia, including the National Gallery of Australia.

To learn more about his work, watch this video produced by the National Gallery of Australia.

“I have always been very interested in my own cultural mythology that originates from the Torres Strait. Mythological tales exploring the origin of landforms and other natural phenomena and magic are spread throughout the culture. Once I started exploring this, as well as Greek mythology, I started to tease out similarities and have created works that speak about the combination and culmination of this research… As a visual artist I see everything as some type of artform. I often have vivid dreams, which I sketch from. I also have ‘Walter Mitty’ moments where I find myself gazing off into space with my mind wandering in and out of fantasy and reality, building spaces that I create work within.” – BRIAN ROBINSON


Brian Robinson, "Walek, the bringer of fire", linocut © The Artist

Brian Robinson, “Walek, the bringer of fire”, linocut © The Artist


SOURCE: Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection.