Ainslie Roberts (12 March 1911 – 28 August 1993): a unique Australian artist and communicator
Ainslie Roberts is perhaps best known for his interpretations of Aboriginal legends in the best-selling book The Dreamtime, written in collaboration with Charles P. Mountford.
Through his works Ainslie Roberts tried to communicate the sacredness of Aboriginal people and culture among the white people of Australia.
His paintings of Aboriginal myths and legends reflect this desire to explore the richness of Aboriginal culture and to interpret and communicate those themes to the wider, predominately white community.
His paintings often feature a central focus such as a person, animal, tree, rock or celestial body and a secondary, sometimes hidden element that casts further light on the meaning of the work.
He acknowledged a debt to famous Belgian surrealist René Magritte for his ability to reveal the secret meaning of the world and its objects.
His line drawings reflect the inspiration of a critical observer of life and the landscape and the technique and discipline of the commercial artist.
The influence of his work on social changes within the wider Australian community leading to Aboriginal citizenship, land rights and the Mabo decision should not be underestimated.