He’s the only living Australian artist with a gallery dedicated entirely to his work which has been established by a major institution independent of the artist. He has won multiple awards and is internationally acclaimed, yet William Robinson has never been one to sound his own trumpet.
Now the public have an opportunity to share in an intimate conversation with him and contribute to the acquisition of one of his early works.
Well known journalist and radio and television host Geraldine Doogue AO will interview Mr Robinson on the evening of Wednesday 21 August in Room Three Sixty at QUT’s Gardens Point campus. They will discuss his career spanning more than five decades along with recent highlights and inspirations.
Caption: The Garden, by William Robinson
The 83-year-old figurative expressionist painter, former teacher and QUT alumnus has twice won the Archibald Prize for portraiture (Equestrian self-portrait in 1987 and Self-portrait with stunned mullet in 1995). Other accolades from his lengthy career include the Wynne Prize for Landscape in 1990 and 1996.
With over 300 artworks, QUT is home to the largest collection of Robinson’s work. The current exhibition at the William Robinson Gallery in Old Government House, Elixir of Light, celebrates his extraordinary gift of colour perception and embrace of the atmospheric qualities of natural light.
“It is a rare occasion for Bill to speak publicly and in-depth for this amount of time,” said Vanessa Van Ooyen, gallery director of QUT Art Museum and the William Robinson Gallery.
“August 26 marks the 10th anniversary of the William Robinson Gallery so to celebrate we invited Geraldine Doogue to be in-conversation with Bill.
“The two have never met but both admire the work of each other and have much in common. Geraldine has a great sensitivity for her interviewees and an ability to tease out some of the most personal aspects of a person’s life, their spirituality and belief systems.
Caption: Morning with Flooded Gums, by William Robinson
“Bill has the same quality but, in his case, to tease out some of the previously undisclosed or unseen aspects of the landscape through his art to give audiences new insights to their environment.
“They also share a background in teaching and a fundamental desire to impart knowledge and engage with people. This is sure to be an erudite conversation not to be missed.”
Ms Van Ooyen said the evening would be filmed by Catherine Hunter, the filmmaker who produced the documentary about Mr Robinson, A Painters Journey, in 2012.
“We will also launch a major giving-program to support the acquisition of one of Bill’s early farmyard paintings – Birkdale Farmyard 1, 1985. This beautiful, whimsical and important artwork (pictured right) would greatly enhance the QUT Art Collection,” she said.
The evening runs from 6pm-7.45pm. Find out more.