My visit to the Queensland Art Gallery.

September 24, 2013 § Leave a comment


Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Queensland Art Gallery in South Brisbane in fine weather.  Though always a stimulating experience, to say the least, I derived particular enjoyment from this visit when I discovered several paintings by William Robinson, a Brisbane artist.  Later research informed me that Robinson, now in his seventy-seventh year, is a two-time Archibald Prize winner.   He is, however, most widely recognised for depictions of Australian landscapes.  I was utterly taken with the intense, surreal nature of these paintings, as well as the unique sensitivity with which Robinson evoked deeply Australian sentiments (the transcendental qualities of the land being, for me, the foremost example; an intricate theme which Robinson has unpacked with care and beauty).


I refer you to the Queensland Art Gallery website’s entry on Robinson’s painting ‘Dark Tide’ (above); an eloquent thematic description:

“Dark tide, Bogangar 1994 is a melancholy seascape depicting the turbulent Pacific Ocean silhouetted against a pale sky.

“It records the multiplicity of nature’s moods through an entire day. The scene unfolds from left to right: a dark tide rises up against the morning light before sinking down under the evening sky. Swelling against the writhing horizon, the sea appears not as alien to the sky but as an interdependent element.

“William Robinson knits together intersecting perspectives, near and far, above and below, before and after. These juxtapositions ultimately consolidate to form a single image. However, the scene is perceived from an indeterminate vantage point, suspended between sea and sky, and not subject to the laws of gravity.

“This ambiguity lends further uncertainty to the spatial dimensions of the painting, and serves to articulate its metaphysical aspect. The shifting perspective created by planes which recede, tilt and plunge reinforces the feeling of a vastness in nature which is impossible to express or experience from a single viewpoint.”

I highly recommend to anyone yet to visit the current exhibitions  to do so.  The paintings of William Robinson were a truly enriching experience which have whet my interest in an artist whom, prior to last week, was unbeknownst to me.  I hope you’ll have a similar experience.

– Nick


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