Hinterland: William Robinson exhibition
Hinterland: The Rainforest Works of William Robinson was officially opened to over 300 guests by Betty Churcher AO on 8 September at the William Robinson Gallery.
Hinterland presents 41 works by Robinson, including paintings, drawings, lithographs and ceramics - many of which are on loan from private collections having never been publicly displayed.
Gallery director Stephen Rainbird said Robinson was an unofficial ambassador of the Queensland rainforest.
"William Robinson's work continues the great Australian art tradition of landscape painting - but he's one of the few artists who have focused on the rainforest," Mr Rainbird said.
"Other artists have painted the interior in terms of the desert, the outback, the dry bush. William Robinson focuses on the rainforest and this new exhibition covers a 21-year period from 1984 to 2005 when Bill was initially living in the Gold Coast hinterland and later visiting the region."
Mr Robinson, who taught fine art at several QUT predecessor institutions, said he had always impressed on his students that their work should be a reflection of where they lived if it was going to last.
"Art is a personal statement from the artist. It has to be a reflection of your life - if they live in suburbia, it should be a reflection of urban living. I lived in the hinterland for quite a number of years and so I know that area it is my home area," Mr Robinson said.
"The rainforest is a fairly closed, iridescent space and moist - a different light from the interior entirely. I cared for the land that we had and I recognised its importance in terms of our environment and the preservation of the world."
Robinson studied and taught at QUT's predecessor institutions for three decades and was head of painting at the Brisbane College of Advanced Education when he retired in 1989 to pursue painting fulltime.
He has won the Archibald Prize twice for self-portraits (1987 and 1989), as well as Australia's premier landscape award, the Wynne Prize (1990).
Hinterland: The Rainforest Works of William Robinson is on display at the William Robinson Gallery in Old Government House until April 3, 2011.
The gallery opens from Sundays to Fridays (closed Saturdays), from 10am to 5pm. Entry is free.