Julia Robinson (b. 1981) is based in Adelaide, the city in which she was born and raised. Her works of art explore universal themes of growth and decay but through the particular lens of European folklore. Robinson is fascinated by curious social behaviours surrounding morality and mortality, such as superstition, ceremonial rituals and the customs of cautionary tales.

Robinson’s sculptures and installations reflect these interests in a material sense too. She frequently borrows from European historical costuming and Elizabethan-era sewing and pattern-making techniques to create her sculptures. The results are highly detailed, fastidious and labour-intensive installations that combine elements from ceremonial costumes with references to animals and plants or abstracted forms that allude to the human body.

Getting Started

Bring the artist into the classroom

installation view: 2020 Adelaide Biennial of a Australian Art: Monster Theatres featuring Beatrice by Julia Robinson, Santos Museum of Economic Botany; photo: Saul Steed.


Inspired by the Greek sea monster Scylla and the protagonist of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Rappaccini’s Daughter

detail: Julia Robinson, Australia, 1981, Beatrice, 2020, Adelaide, silk, thread, felt, steel, brass, gold-plated copper, foam, cardboard, pins, fixings, dimensions variable; © Julia Robinson/Hugo Michell Gallery.

Making and Responding

Create a new species or a work of art inspired by your favourite book