Vivid Publishing - Book Publishers Australia

100 Years, 100 Paintings

Robert Habel


‘100 Years, 100 Paintings’ reflects on the history of long-serving community organisation, UnitingSA, through the eyes of an artist deeply connected to its cause and its Port Adelaide roots. As a painter, mental health worker and Port local, Robert Habel weaves together the stories of UnitingSA, from 1919 to 2019 and beyond.

Layering a rich personal accumulation of images, experiences and methods, his vision and insights are always trained on ‘the local’. Comprising 100 oil paintings, Habel’s artwork is inspired by the changing social and physical environments that embrace
both artist and organisation.

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About the Author


Robert Habel grew up in the hills of West Launceston, Tasmania, where his family home offered expansive views across the city, Tamar Valley and mountain ranges beyond. Not unsurprisingly, this landscape became the chosen subject matter for Habel as a young fine art student in the early 1980s. Venturing out to many beaches, fields, hills and localities,

Habel experimented with painting in oils en plein air, influenced by the styles of his favourite modernist artists. These direct paintings executed in the landscape – often in one session with changeable weather conditions – were frequently the starting point for further painterly inventions back in the studio.

Following a move from Launceston to Adelaide in 1992 to complete his art studies and set up a new studio, Habel remained curious about, and inspired by, local Australian landscapes as well as those further afield. In particular, he was interested in human interventions – attracted to the aesthetic potential of the dynamic, contemporary nature of industrial sites and those often topical and contested environments affected by climate change.

For Habel today, painting outdoors and being immersed in the landscape continues to provide him with the motivation, energy and structure that constitutes an end in itself as a finished painting, or becomes a starting point to explore new images and studio techniques. This record of Habel’s historical practice forms a compelling visual diary that captures many decades of image collection, travel, exploration, painting and exhibitions.

About Uniting SA


The Port Adelaide Central Mission was established on 8 April 1919 as the Methodist Church sought to respond to the material and spiritual needs of the people in the aftermath of the First World War. Soaring unemployment, chronic illness and poverty plagued the Port and within just a few years the Mission was supporting 80 local families with food, clothing, blankets, firewood and furniture. The Mission provided a range of other practical support, from linking families with government rations to building vital community infrastructure and counselling the sick and those in need of solace. As demand grew, so too did the organisation and in 2003 the Mission became UnitingCare Wesley Port Adelaide. Expansion continued in the subsequent years with people accessing services from right across the state. In 2017, this led the organisation to change its name to UnitingSA. Today, UnitingSA’s team of over 1,000 staff and volunteers touches the lives of around 15,000 people each year through the delivery of aged care, housing, community welfare, disability and mental health programs. While the organisation’s name has changed over time, its focus has remained on realising its vision for a ‘compassionate, respectful and just community in which all people participate and flourish’.





Publisher Jason Swiney, Fontaine Publishing Group
ISBN: ISBN: 978-1-922565-08-2
Format: Hardcover with dustjacket
Extent: 112 pages full colour
Publisher: Vivid Publishing
Category: Art -- Paintings
Distribution: UnitingSA