Robert Todonai (born 1963, South Australia) is a practising professional artist. He has been a member of the Science-Art Research Centre since 1981, when it was situated in South Australia’s Riverland. He studied applied mathematics through RMIT during 1891- 1982, whilst at the same time studying visual art practise (painting) under Robert Pope. He jointly built the new Centre at Uki in Northern New South Wales during the early 90s and has been a Board Member of The Science-Art Research Centre of Australia Incorporated since 1995, when it became an Australian Government Approved Research Institute.
More recently his Science-Art paintings have been shown to exhibit stereoscopic properties when viewed through asymmetrical electromagnetic lenses, which is seen as extending the stereoscopic art research by such artists as Salvador Dali, and as essential to the understanding of the geometric ‘first-principle’ of healthy growth and development of life.
He has jointly published several Science-Art books, including ‘Two Bob’s Worth’, which was launched in the USA, and the most recent title being ‘The 21st Century Renaissance and Cancer Research’. His interest in computer generated art include the study of fractals in 1982, soon after the discovery of the Mandelbrot Set. Later, after completing a degree in computer studies, he has experimented extensively with algorithmic and generative computer art, particularly in the area of non-photorealistic computer graphics.
Robert Todonai has exhibited extensively throughout Australia and internationally, including at the Pacific Design Centre, Hollywood, in 1989, and is now represented by the Park West Galleries of Michigan, USA, described in their Wikipedia entry as the world’s largest commercial art gallery, who regularly present Todonai’s work to an international audience through their venues on cruise ships.
Robert Pope was born in 1939 at Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, the son of a cyanide plant operator who worked on the famous Bendigo Gold elds extracting gold. Pope aspired at an early age to become an artist-philosopher, though his father considered this ridiculous, as Pope was classi ed as colorblind. Instead, Pope found that he sees colors vividly, much like his artistic hero, 19th-century artist J.M.W. Turner.
Pope’s mother encouraged him to attend art school. After she passed when he was 14 years old, he delayed his artistic dream and went to find work in North Queensland. He became a self-taught senior seismic cartographer, working throughout outback Australia. In 1964 he resigned to open his own gallery, and only four years later, won the Inaugural Centralian Caltex Art Award.
Pope’s science-art theories were documented by the Science Unit of Australian National Television in 1978 during his Artist-in- Residency at the University of Adelaide.
This documentary premiered internationally the following year. This led to UNESCO appointing him as a Special Science-Art Delegate to a world Summit Meeting on General Relativity at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy.
Alongside being a professional artist, Pope is a science-art philosopher. He says he aims to re-write science itself in order to unite human artistic feelings with emotional science. Even so, art remains at the core, and allowing Pope to portray his ideas and beliefs for collectors to appreciate.
Pope’s artwork is inspired by art from ancient cultures such as Egyptian, Islamic and Byzantine. He works with acrylics, building upon layers of paint to mimic the look of ancient relics. The symbols in his works represent that there is a wealth of knowledge to be learned from previous cultures. His paintings have been shown to exhibit stereoscopic properties when viewed through asymmetrical electromagnetic lenses, which is seen as extending the stereoscopic art research by such artists as Salvador Dali, and as essential to the understanding of the geometric ‘first-principle’ of healthy growth and development of life Pope believes this knowledge is important to “restore the imbalance between the arts and sciences in the modern world.”