From Chinky to Melbourne: Robbie's artistic odyssey

Robbie Knight (second from left) with his wife and sons in front of his Indigenous artwork at the Melbourne Museum.

Robbie Knight (second from left) with his wife and sons in front of his Indigenous artwork at the Melbourne Museum.

A CHINKAPOOK artist and former world champion martial arts fighter has drawn inspiration from his ancestral roots and the region's Dreamtime stories to produce artwork for the Melbourne Museum.

Robbie Knight made a name for himself as national and world title-winning Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter and for running the first MMA fights in Melbourne.

He was even charged by the State Government to write the rules of the sport in the state.

What fewer people would know, Mr Knight began life as a musician and artist, following in the footsteps of his grandmother, Joan Stewart.

"Growing up I was always immersed in art and culture and having my grandmother painting and telling stories — growing up within that environment has shaped me into the person that I am today," Mr Knight said.

"As a little child, she was my mother more than my grandmother...she would do what she did and I would just follow her and learn from her."

After giving the fighting a break, Mr Knight moved back to Chinkapook and returned to his passion for art.

The artwork he's created since then, which includes three-dimensional pieces and Indigenous dot paintings, has recently gone on show for four months at the Melbourne Museum.

For more on this story, grab a copy of Friday's Guardian (July 15).

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