Robert Groves | Cartoon artist

About the exhibition by cartoon artist Robert Groves

This exhibition is a collection of illustrations by cartoon artist Robert Groves. He drew inspiration from his 30 years of working in the mines. Robert Groves is well known for his wit and used his skills to draw hilarious safety posters that have been published in the Mineworker’s magazine ‘The Common Cause’.

Robert Groves was a recipient of the ‘Australia Day Award’ in 2005 and has exhibited at the NSW State Library next to other famous Australian illustrators such as Norman Lindsay, Jolliffe & Pickering.

How did Robert Groves become such a prolific cartoon artist?

From early days Robert Groves would spend every minute he could to draw cartoons. He would hide under the sheets, after his father had told him to turn the light off and continue exploring subjects with his pen and paper. Robert went on to follow in his family footsteps and took on a job in the mine. He soon found a use for his imaginative skills and started to draw cartoons of little mishaps that the mineworkers had underground. At one point he was making up to 12 cartoons a day.

Where did Robert Groves find subjects for his work as a cartoon artist?

Working in the mine gave him plenty of opportunities to collect stories from funny events and workers mishaps. Eventually the mining company caught onto it and recruited him to draw cartoons of safety posters, a collection of these are featured in this exhibition. Robert went on illustrate books, safety calendars and publish work in the Mineworkers magazine.

What is the main thing this collection of work is communicating to viewers?

Mine work is a physically hard job and dangerous if adequate safety is not taken. These safety posters are an attempt to illustrate what can happen if suitable precaution is not taken. By using humour to get the safety issues across the hope is that the message might stick.

The collection of work will be on display in our Gallery till the Friday the 12thof October.