Create a drawing using patterns and pop culture

Brian Robinson grew up on Waiben (Thursday Island) in the Torres Strait with Maluyligal and Wuthathi cultural heritage, combining traditional mark making and patterns from his culture with references to his favourite pop culture movies and comics. He is a multi-skilled contemporary artist, working in diverse media, including printmaking, sculpture and public art.

Growing up on Waiben (Thursday Island) in the Torres Strait in a family of fisherfolk whose Roman Catholic faith exists in synergy with traditional Maluyligal and Wuthathi spirituality, my creations are seemingly incongruous concoctions where many motifs and characters are co-opted into the spirit world of the Islander imagination, which are then intertwined with historical narrative, personal history and humour.
Artist Brian Robinson

installation view: Tarnanthi 2019 featuring Empyreal: A Place and a Path in the Sky and on the Earth by Brian Robinson, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide;; photo: Saul Steed.

Getting Started

Bring the artist into the classroom

Brian Robinson with his work Empyreal: A Place and a Path in the Sky and on the Earth, Tarnanthi 2019, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide,; photo: Saul Steed.

Making & Responding

Create a drawing using patterns and pop culture

detail: Brian Robinson, born 1973, Waiben (Thursday Island), Wuthathi and Maluyligal people, Torres Strait Islands, Custodian of the Blooms, 2014, Cairns, mixed media, 300.0 x 300.0 cm, Image courtesy the artist and Mossenson Galleries, photo: Saul Steed

Education Resource

Be inspired with more ideas for the classroom

installation view: Tarnanthi 2019 featuring Empyreal: A Place and a Path in the Sky and on the Earth by Brian Robinson and Touch the River Floor by Naomi Hobson, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide;; photo: Saul Steed.

Student Online Gallery

Collaborative sculptures inspired by Brian Robinson