Robert Andrew: Our mutable histories

Robert Andrew, Information Transfer 2 (detail), 2015, ochres, oxides and chalk on board. Courtesy of the ArtistAcclaimed artist Robert Andrew will showcase three new works exploring his Australian Indigenous history with use of contemporary technology in Robert Andrew: Our mutable histories at the Museum of Brisbane until 16 July 2017.

Commissioned by Museum of Brisbane, Andrew’s works uncover, reveal and re-present aspects of Australian Indigenous history that have been previously hidden, distorted and denied, and have been largely formed by unravelling the effects of colonialism on his own family history.

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. This exhibition reflects on issues of forgotten histories, identity and loss of language for many Indigenous groups across Australia.

Using contrasting materials such as water, natural ochres, oxides and chalks alongside contemporary technologies, Andrew reveals a ‘third space’, a new and original landscape where two cultures collide and entwine.

Playful kinetic artworks invite visitors to interact with a machine that uses water and ochre to create ever-changing textural landscapes, and reclaimed materials that have been beautifully transformed. Many of the natural elements in the works are personally significant to Andrew, such as rocks sourced from his ancestral home in Western Australia and timber from his Brisbane home built in 1865.

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

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).

Robert Andrew: Our mutable histories
Museum of Brisbane, Level 3 – Brisbane City Hall, King George Square, Brisbane
Exhibition continues to 16 July 2017
Free admission

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Robert Andrew, Information Transfer 2 (detail), 2015. Ochres, oxides and chalk on board. Courtesy of the Artist.