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Born in suburban Brisbane in 1936, William Robinson engages in his natural surroundings to explore the Australian landscape and the elements for most of his painting career. Robinson was also inspired by music, playing the piano from a young age, is still an integral part of his artistic practice.
His art works are memories and reflections of various locations which are influenced by music and form detailed subject matter. From the coastal town of Kingscliff, the subtropical Gold Coast rainforests, to his Springbrook studio, the result is always a rich composition and often loaded with colour. The paintings offer a beautiful distilled experience of an intense exploration. Even the characteristic farmyard series - produced at his small farm in Birkdale on the outskirts of Brisbane - depicts everyday farm life through spontaneous and witty drawings, pastels and etchings.
Robinson was rigorously trained, first as a primary school teacher and from 1955 to 1956 he studied art on scholarship at the Central Technical College. After graduating he began working as an art instructor and held a long career as a teacher and academic at various education institutes in Queensland. Robinson retired from teaching in 1989 to work full time on his paintings and still practices today.
Although his first exhibition was in 1967, Robinson flourished in the 1980s producing works which were selected for the Australian Perspectiva in 1983 and the Sixth Biennale of Sydney in 1986. His paintings gained international acclaim and in 1987 several works were purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. His works feature in many major collections including most of Australia's state galleries and the National Gallery of Australia.
Robinson won the Wynne Prize for landscape painting twice, in 1990 and 1996, and is considered one of this country's most respected and prominent landscape painters. However, proving to be a painter of varying subjects and disciplines, he also claimed the prestigious Archibald Prize for portraiture in 1987 and won again in 1995. Robinson is also an outstanding draughtsman, printmaker and watercolourist and these works only broaden and enhance his painting oeuvre.