William Robinson / Four seasons 1987 / Oil on canvas /4 panels 137.5 x 188cm each / Commissioned 1987 with funds from the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited on the occasion of Australia’s Bicentenary 1988 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist

William Robinson
Four seasons 1987

Not Currently on Display

Four seasons is based on careful observation of the eucalypt and subtropical rainforests growing on the artist’s Beechmont property, in the Canungra region of the Gold Coast hinterland. Robinson represents seasonal changes as well as different times of the day. He takes us on a journey through the landscape, beginning at dawn in the first panel of the painting, and continuing through to sunset in the last panel.

The first painting represents dawn and Spring, with the night sky pushing to the left. The second work is moving into a dry, early Summer, still windy and with bushfires. The third canvas shows Summer, with a thunderstorm just having moved over, leaving a rainbow. The last painting depicts the artist and his wife Shirley riding into the sunset. A flight of black cockatoos comes into the sky, leaving the storm in the distance, and life is renewed ready for Winter.

William Robinson (b.1936) showed talent in both painting and music at a young age, and music continues to influence his practice. After studying art at Brisbane’s Central Technical College, Robinson began a long career as an arts educator in 1957. He was head of the painting department at the Brisbane College of Advanced Education (now the Queensland University of Technology) from 1982 until 1989.

In 1984, Robinson moved his family to a large farm at Beechmont in the mountainous Gold Coast hinterland, a region of immense natural beauty. The move gave rise to a new body of work, marking a personal breakthrough in his career and inspiring him to explore new artistic territory. He began to work on a much larger scale and painted panoramas of the sky, mountains, rainforests and water, exploring the landscape as a powerful, emotive force.