Museum of Brisbane

Robert Andrew: Our mutable histories

  • 3 Mar - 16 Jul 2017
  • Exhibition now closed

History is a changeable force. It is recorded, erased, re-written and scraped back revealing rich cross-sections of layered lives and stories.

Robert Andrew: Our mutable histories

Robert Andrew: Our mutable histories gives voice and form to the disconnection between Anglo-European and Australian Indigenous history, and the complexity of belonging to two cultures.

Robert Andrew is a Brisbane-based Indigenous artist and descendant of the Yawuru people of the Broome area in the Kimberley, Western Australia. Through his art practice and cultural duality he uncovers, reveals and re-presents aspects of Australian Indigenous history and his own family history which have previously been denied or hidden.

Andrew uses contrasting materials of natural ochres, oxides and chalks alongside contemporary technologies to create and reveal a new landscape known as the ‘third space’ where two cultures collide to form a new and original space. Playful kinetic machines allow water and ochre to create ever-changing textural landscapes and reclaimed materials are beautifully transformed.

The three commissioned works exhibited in Our mutable histories unravel the complexity and the erasure of the artists mixed-heritage with the desire to unearth what lies beneath.

Using technology as a tool with which to speak this exhibition explores issues of identity, the effect of language and forgotten histories.



Artist biography

Robert Andrew is an Indigenous artist, descendant of the Yawuru people of the Rubibi (Broome) area West Kimberley, Western Australia. Robert’s work explores his Australian Indigenous history via his installation based practice. Born in Perth in 1965, Robert relocated to Brisbane in 2000. Robert completed a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art in 2012 at the Queensland College of Art (QCA), accepting his Fine Art Honours in 2013. He is currently completing his doctorate in Visual Arts at QCA, Griffith University. Robert has exhibited widely throughout Australia including TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria (2016), National Gallery of Victoria (2015) and Cairns Regional Gallery (2014). His work has been acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria for Indigenous Art: Moving backwards into the future. He has been the recipient of the Graduate Art Show and Survey Room Award (2013) and the St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital Art Prize (2013), a finalist in the Geelong Contemporary Art Prize (2016) and the R&M McGivern Painting Prize (2016).


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