Bob Marchant was born in 1938 in Dimboola, in the Wimmera district in Victoria.
His experiences from his early years growing up in this farming community are often reflected in the subjects of his paintings which are mainly figurative works that feature people in the Australian landscape.
Bob studied at the Royal Melbourne Technical College (now RMIT) from 1954-1958, and from 1960 to 1980 he travelled in Europe and worked in London as a graphic designer and art director.
In 1981 Bob returned to Australia to live in Sydney and it wasn’t until this time, when he was in his forties, that he began painting full-time after living away from Australia for 20 years.
Bob’s paintings came to prominence in 1988 when he won the prestigious Sulman Prize, awarded by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, over two consecutive years in 1988 and 1989. He also went on to win the Mosman Art Prize in 1992, and in 1994 he won the Banjo Patterson Prize. Over the course of his career Bob also won and was a finalist in many other art prizes and competitions across Australia.
In 1996 his series of 14 paintings titled “The Drovers Boy” was selected to tour and exhibit in selected regional galleries, and was featured on the ABC television programme, Review.
In 2001 Bob completed a large painting commissioned by The Australian War Memorial in Canberra to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Memorial’s opening. Other commissions include two large paintings for the foyer of The Australian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.
Bob has exhibited his work widely with solo exhibitions in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, France, in Los Angeles in the USA, and Honolulu in Hawaii.
His work is represented in many private collections in Australia, the UK, USA, Singapore, Denmark and France, as well as in public collections such as the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Parliament House in Canberra, Broken Hill Regional Gallery, the Horsham Regional Gallery, and the University of Darwin.
Bob now lives with his ceramicist wife Inger at their studio in Bundeena in The Royal National Park in NSW, a location that provides inspiration from its natural beauty and local flora and fauna.