Hamilton Gallery

Robert Martiensen, The K Factor (detail) 2006, acrylic on canvas. Private collection.

Robert Martiensen: The Secret

Inspired by Hamilton local, Dr Elizabeth Arthur’s incredible book on this fascinating artist.

This exhibition presents original works by enigmatic artist, Robert Martiensen. In 2007, Robert Martiensen, a recluse, was found deceased in his derelict farmhouse in rural South Australia, revealing an astonishing secret. The property was filled with thousands of his paintings. The rescued collection and the enigmatic creator of the works inspired a study by Dr Elizabeth Arthur, as an art consultant, and the resultant splendid book accompanies the exhibition. The artist emerges as an eccentric intellectual of obsessive passions.

For the very first time, this exhibition unveils an extensive selection of Martiensen’s major works, never before shown to the public.

Exhibition Dates: 

Saturday 12 August to Sunday 29 October

Entry to this exhibition is free, with the gallery open 7 days a week.

Public Programs & Events

Exhibition Opening

Friday 11 August 6 pm

Join us for the official opening of the exhibition alongside the publication launch for Robert Martiensen: The Secret. 

Event includes local catering, Henty wines and guest speakers.

Free entry, please RSVP for catering purposes to [email protected] or call 5573 0460.

HG: Symposium | The Art & The Artist 

Saturday 12 August 10 am

Hear insights on the exhibition from guest speakers:

Dr. Elizabeth Arthur, Art Consultant and Valuer

Professor Jenny Zimmer AM, Art Publisher, and Associate Professor

Anthony White, Art History, University of Melbourne.

HG Talk: Outsider Art & Disability

Saturday 7 October 11 am

Anchored by the work of Robert Martiensen, curator Dr Elizabeth Arthur will be leading a talk about art, disability and what is known as ‘Outsider Art’ created outside of mainstream fine art alongside commentary.

Free event, RSVP via the link.


HG Play: Feelings (Robert Martiensen)

Wednesday 16 August, 4pm – 5pm

Inspired by the work of Robert Martiensen, children will choose a painting and learn how to harness abstract mark-making, pattern and line to express themselves by transforming feelings into art. 

Ages 4 – 11, materials supplied


HG Play: The Secret (Robert Martiensen)

Wednesday 23 August, 4pm – 5pm


Inspired by the work of Robert Martiensen, children will be encourage to use crayons to create artworks using bold mark-making on a large communal artwork the children will design together.

Ages 4 – 11, materials supplied


Dr Elizabeth Arthur has curated an astonishing publication about the artist behind the works and the story of this remarkable discovery, including more than 500 colour reproductions of the artist’s work and the astonishing warehouse in which they were discovered.

You can learn more about the book on the Australian Scholarly Publishing website. 

This publication is available to browse or to purchase from the Hamilton Gallery Shop, please contact us if you would like to arrange delivery.