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Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery opens Songlines season with ‘The Van Gogh of the Central Desert’

June 6 - July 6

Adrian Jangala Robertson

The Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery’s annual Songlines season, which champions work from non-Western artistic traditions, opens this summer with Yalpirakinu, an exhibition of new work by the Australian aboriginal outsider artist, Adrian Jangala Robertson.

Both physically-disabled and non-verbal, Robertson finds expression through painting. His emotive and freely-worked depictions of family and friends, and of the dramatic landscape of Central Australia, have an emotional intensity that has seen him dubbed ‘the Van Gogh of the Central Desert’.

Born at Papunya, an Aboriginal community in the Central Desert, in 1962, Robertson grew up amidst the founding fathers of the Desert Painting movement. This movement, which saw traditional motifs being set down for first time in permanent and portable form, began at Papunya in 1971, initiated by a group of senior men from the community with the encouragement and engagement of the school art-teacher Geoffrey Bardon. Robertson now lives in Alice Springs and is a member of the Bindi Mwerre Anthurre artist collective, which brings together important resources for disabled Aboriginal artists.

Artist Adrian Jangala Robertson
Artist Adrian Jangala Robertson

The artist’s atemporal connection to his mother’s homeland of Yalpirakinu abounds with the profound spiritual knowledge that is part of his inheritance. With a unique and powerful intimacy, he depicts panoramic views and portraits of friends and relatives.
Cloud-banks swell and float over red- mountain ridges speckled with bush shrub, or the flash of a ‘road train’ lorry on an unmetalled road. His vision is as loaded with memories of childhood as it is illustrative of the immediate surroundings.

Robertson is the recipient of numerous prestigious prizes for contemporary aboriginal art. These include the Telstra Painting Award (2020), and the coveted Alice Prize in 2022. Yalpirankinu will mark his first solo exhibition outside of Australia.

The Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery’s annual Songlines season of exhibitions introduces the work of many important Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to British and European audiences.


June 6
July 6
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Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery
2a Conway St, Fitzroy Square
London, W1T 6BA United Kingdom
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