William ROBINSON, Twin Falls and Gorge Enlarge 1 /1

William ROBINSON

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia born 1936

Twin Falls and Gorge 2000 Place made: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, oil on canvas

Dimensions: 137.0 h x 183.0 w cm framed (overall) 1401 h x 1858 w x 45 d mm
Acknowledgement: Raymond Kidd and Dianna Kidd Fund 2013
Accession No: NGA 2012.1284

William Robinson emerged as a major force in Australian art in the late twentieth century and is recognised as one of Australia’s most significant landscape artists. His contribution resides primarily in his distinctive response to the Queensland environment, including lush rainforests and coastal locations. Robinson is known for his expansive and complex envisioning of the natural world, inspired by experiences within particular landscapes.

Twin Falls and gorge highlights his experience of the mountainous rainforest landscape around Springbrook in Queensland, where he had a studio in the 1990s. Robinson conceived the rainforest from multiple viewpoints, taking into account time–space relationships and shifts of light and shadow. The painting simultaneously grasps what is above and below, close up and in the distance. The richly modulated textures and perspectives are drawn from Robinson’s memories of time spent absorbing the intimate and fluctuating aspects of the environment; clouds suspended in a blue sky, the Twin Falls, tussocks, bright yellow blooms, the tips of the tall forest and the bases of large trees are all seen at once.

As Robinson noted in a 2001 interview: ‘Living in the country everything moves—the seasons, the clouds, nothing is set. There are things behind you, all around you and you are in it … We don’t really have an orientation in this infinity … you can be a time-traveller in your mind in a painting’.

Deborah Hart Senior Curator, Australian Painting and Sculpture post 1920


in artonview, issue 77, Autumn 2014

William Robinson emerged as a major force in Australian art in the late twentieth century and is recognised as one of Australia’s most significant landscape artists. His contribution resides primarily in his distinctive response to the Queensland environment including lush rainforests and coastal locations. Robinson is known for his expansive and complex envisioning of the natural world, inspired by experiences within particular landscapes.

Twin falls and gorge highlights the artist’s rich experience of the mountainous rainforest landscape around Springbrook in Queensland, where he had a studio in the 1990s. Robinson conceived the rainforest environment from multiple viewpoints, taking into account time-space relationships, shifts of light and shadow and simultaneous grasp of what is above and below, close-up and in the distance. The richly modulated textures and perspectives are drawn from Robinson’s memories of time spent absorbing the intimate and fluctuating aspects of the environment; clouds suspended in a blue sky, the Twin Falls, tussocks, bright yellow blooms, the tips of the tall forest, and base of large trees are all seen at once. As Robinson noted:

Living in the country everything moves— the seasons, the clouds, nothing is set. There are things behind you, all around you and you are in it. Everything is constantly moving … You begin to realise that you are in a landscape that is really the crust of the earth. It is air and ground. We are all just spinning through space. There is something about the painting that is indefinite, not solid. We don’t really have an orientation in this infinity … You begin to question what time is. Time isn’t something that is just measured on a clock … you can be a time-traveller in your mind in a painting.


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2014
From: Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2014