Gay Hawkes: The House of Longing

Opens 18-03-2022,  closes 28-08-2022

Argyle Galleries 1-3

Gay Hawkes is a nationally respected furniture maker, sculptor and artist who lives in Tasmania. She is particularly well known for pioneering the use of found materials such as horizontal scrub, driftwood, and shipping pallets in her furniture.

Raised in Burnie, Hawkes studied humanities before undertaking a Bachelor of Arts at the Tasmanian School of Art, Hobart between 1979-80. She lived in Melbourne during the 1980s and early 1990s when her career soared through representation by reputable commercial galleries, inclusion in major arts festivals, and acquisitions by national collecting institutions.

Hawkes returned to Tasmania in 1994 where she established a rich, creative life centred on her boat-shed studio in Dunalley. This space, which she dubbed the Dunalley Children’s Chair Factory, became a hive of activity which included fashion shows, performances, children’s furniture-making workshops and celebrations in honour of the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Football League Grand Final, and the Queen’s Jubilee.

Tragically, Hawkes’s studio and home were destroyed in the Dunalley bush fire in January 2013, along with her tools and an irreplaceable collection of her life’s work. This event structures the exhibition, which is loosely divided into galleries of works made before and after the fire.

The House of Longing recognises Hawkes’s commitment to her practice as an artist and teacher over forty years, as well as her resilience and passion.

Image details: Gay Hawkes (b. 1942), The Singing Cupboard, 2014-15, recycled pallets and plywood. Photographer: Peter Whyte.