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Brian Robinson


A newfound engagement with the arts and cultures of Southeast Asia prompted artist Brian Robinson to investigate his personal heritage, family lineage and influences from Asian countries that were embraced by the people of Torres Strait since the days of pearling and bech-de-mer farming through the region.

Brian was invited to present his research and insights into Zenadh Kes Torres Strait culture at the UNESCO Vision Culture Lecture Program (Arts of Asia) hosted by the Shalini Ganendra Fine Art Gallery (SGFA) in 2014. Brian was also invited to present an exhibition of his work, Zenadh Kes: Art is Life, that resonated and encompassed the theme of the lecture. His solo exhibition featured a selection of museum quality prints, which included linocuts and etchings. This exhibition and lecture was the first of its type on Torres Strait art and culture in recent Malaysian history and was officially opened by Australian High Commissioner, Rod Smith.


June – October 2014


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Key stats

  • 1 exhibition
  • 3 lectures

Image of linocut

Arts Queensland contribution

$5505 – Individuals Fund


  • Brian’s work was critically reviewed in respected journals and publications.
  • As a result of the exhibition, Brian attracted sales from public and private collectors.
  • Brian was interviewed on national radio about arts practice and his family lineage.
  • Brian has been invited back to lecture and lead workshops in printmaking at University MARA and participate in another exhibition at SGFA, looking at his sculptural and public art practice.

Learnings and reflections

Brian Robinson reflects on the progression of his artistic career and the value of this project:

I am fortunate to be amongst a recognised generation of Indigenous Australian artists. Since 2013 my career has moved in an international direction, gaining exposure overseas in the US, Berlin, Singapore and now Malaysia. Separate from my studio work and art world experience, I held a curatorial role spanning fifteen years at Cairns Regional Gallery, which included tenure on the QAGOMA Board of Trustees and more recently on the Board of Directors for the National Portrait Gallery. The opportunity this grant initiative gave me will reach far into the future both personally through my artistic practice but also through the curatorial practice career that I will one day return to. 

Embarking on this project has given me the confidence in my arts practice on an international level and I look forward to all future challenges both at home and abroad.

Contact for further information


Phone: 0410 609 001

A pdf version of the  Brian Robinson case study (PDF) (456.96 KB) is available.

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