Rodney Forbes is is fascinated by how people tell stories. His vibrant paintings address deeply poignant subject matter through dreamlike and surreal imagery. Figures and objects float against his trademark palette of bright, luminous colours, drawing the viewer in to explore a rich narrative. Drawing on both autobiographical and historical events, Forbes has the masterful ability to portray sometimes dark and challenging subject matter through vibrant, cartoon-like imagery, resulting in deeply engaging works that invite extended contemplation.
Rodney Forbes’ work is held in the collection of the Australian National Gallery, Canberra, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artbank, several regional galleries and numerous private collections in Australia and internationally. He is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Arts and Education at Federation University Australia and was previously the Director of Gippsland Centre for Art and Design and Switchback Gallery at Monash University. His work has been the subject of two major curated survey exhibitions and he has been the recipient of an Australia Council Arts and Crafts Board New Work Grant. Forbes has been active in the curation of numerous indigenous exhibitions and cross-cultural art projects.
Photograph of Rodney Forbes by Richard Dodson
“Two weeks into lockdown, wading through the bleakness of pandemic panic, impending winter, and the wild west of Collingwood’s tumbleweed …