Roger Kemp was born in Bendigo in 1908 and studied at the National Gallery School, Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
From the 1930s until the present his art has followed a determined and singular course. His painting has been concerned with energy and rhythm and while his style is abstract his works have themes taken from musical forms and spiritual experience.
In the 1960s religious subjects became more overt in his paintings, some of which were entered for the Blake Prize. The cruciform figure, which is an element of many of the works from the mid 1960s, such as Genesis, has been described by Patrick McCaughey as ‘both his recurring image of man at full stretch and a symbol of the cross.’