Printmaking is an important medium for Robinson, and builds on the significant reputation developed in recent decades by artists from Australia’s Torres Strait Islands, particularly the drama and innovation visible in their linocut prints. Within Robinson’s oeuvre, prints are a strong example of the unique cultural fusion on which his work is built. In this suite of three limited edition prints: Reef Guardian 1, Feeding the family pets and Charms to defeat the kracken, Brian Robinson extends imagery around the editioned sculpture Ocean Guardian, but they also speak to the iconic masterwork he developed, Citizens Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.
The concept of the reef guardian evokes the cultural interests that inform the northern part of Australia, with Robinson’s Reef Guardian 1, 2017, developing the narrative of the totemic green sea turtle. In drawing together a human guardian figure and a sea turtle, this image promotes the spirit world as a guardian of the Reef and the world of the sea. This warrior is a muscular male, and while the behaviour of human beings contributes to environmental problems, the figure reflects an intrinsic and influential balance that has always existed between humanity and nature – Louise Martin-Chew, 2017.