QUT Art Collection
With more than 315 artworks by William Robinson, QUT possesses the largest public collection of the artist's work in the world. Holdings include paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings and ceramics spanning the period from the mid-1960s to 2013. These works trace the major developments in Robinson's art through the genres that have dominated his mature output: the interior, farmyard, landscape, seascape and self-portraiture. In 2007, QUT established a special acquisitions fund to purchase key works by the artist for the Collection and several paintings, sculptures and drawings have been acquired to augment works generously gifted by Robinson and other donors with the major objective of building a representative collection across the various media through purchase, gift, and bequest.
QUT has produced several short films about William Robinson, in conjunction with specific exhibitions and as standalone projects. This selection of videos, produced by QUT and the State Library of Queensland, offers an insight into the artist and his work. In addition to these videos, William Robinson: A painter’s journey, which traces the places that have inspired the artist, is available on DVD at the gift shop.
Elixir of light was produced in 2019 on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name. Featuring interviews with William Robinson and guest curator Maureen Hansen, the film explores the artist’s expert use of colour to infuse his paintings with atmospheric
Inspirations was produced in 2015 on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name, and celebrates the connections Robinson has woven between himself, his subjects, and his students. It features the exhibition's curator, The Honourable Quentin Bryce AD CVO, who interviews Robinson's past students, as well as current primary and secondary school students from Brisbane, about the importance of art teaching.
This video offers an introduction to the William Robinson Gallery and its establishment as part of the 2009 refurbishment of Old Government House. The film includes interviews with the artist as well as QUT’s former Vice-Chancellor Peter Coaldrake AO, art historian and former Director of the National Gallery of Australia Betty Churcher AO, art critic John McDonald, and William Robinson Gallery Director Vanessa Van Ooyen. It discusses important acquisitions to the QUT Art Collection, including Robinson’s series of self portraits and The blue pools: Springbrook to Beechmont 2000, which the artist considers one of his most important paintings.
Produced by the State Library of Queensland, this 5-minute digital story on William Robinson is part of the James C. Sourris AM Artist Interview Series, which contains a number of interviews by prominent Australian artists. In this interview, Robinson talks to Vanessa Van Ooyen about his art, his success at winning the Archibald Prize and his busy life as both a teacher and an artist.
Produced by the State Library of Queensland, this 30-minute educational interview with William Robinson is part of the James C. Sourris AM Artist Interview Series, which contains a number of interviews by prominent Australian artists. This is an extended, in-depth version of the 5-minute digital story, in which Robinson talks to Vanessa Van Ooyen about his art, his success at winning the Archibald Prize and his busy life as both a teacher and an artist.
In November 2019, William Robinson featured on the ABC’s Conversations, interviewed by Sarah Kanowski. While Robinson is now considered one of Australia’s greatest living artists, it took years for his work to be recognised as brilliant. On Conversations, the artist speaks about his upbringing, how he became an artist and how his style evolved and changed as he moved from a small suburban farm at Birkdale, to the Gold Coast hinterland rainforest, to the beachside town of Kingscliff, then to a Brisbane house with a tropical garden.
Conservation research project
From 2014 to 2016, QUT conducted a collaborative research conservation project with QAGOMA that sought to identify the painting materials and methods used by William Robinson over the almost five-decade span of his artistic practice. The project developed best practice guidelines for the conservation and collection management of his paintings.