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MHS Library | Gordon Hookey

Gordon Hookey


English is my second language, I don't know my first; because colonialism stole it from me. With horrific brutality and atrocious violence, the english took my culture and replaced it with theirs, without my consent or choice. Therefore, I have an open license to utilise their imposed language and culture any way I want, with unrestrained imagination and absolute freedom within my art practice. My creativity is visual poetry.  I try to observe the world objectively and honestly by paraphrasing and analogising in making pictorial metaphors to what I see.   I like to think I have a strong sense of what is right and wrong in the pursuit of truth and clarity for expressions of humanity.

About Gordon Hookey

Gordon Hookey was born in Cloncurry Queensland and belongs to the Waanyi people.

Hookey's work combines figurative characters, iconic symbols, bold comic-like text and a spectrum of vibrant colours. Through this idiosyncratic visual language he has developed a unique and immediately recognisable style. Hookey locates his art at the interface where Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultures converge. He explicitly attacks the establishment and implicates our current political representatives.

Art was part of Hookey's upbringing; he has been painting since Grade 2 at school but would get frustrated because he always saw things differently. He was encouraged to learn a trade and, after completing his school certificate in 1977, Hookey embarked on a course in bricklaying which he completed in 1984. He saw his trade experience as an advantage because his favoured medium is sculpture. He states: "Painting is like a waltz, sculpture is like heavy metal: sculpture is more active and physical, it enables me to get my hands dirty."

Hookey then began an Arts degree at the University of Queensland, which he discontinued to pursue a career as an artist.

Hookey joined Boomalli in 1992 while attending College of Fine Arts, Paddington, completing a BA in Fine Arts. His work was featured in the major exhibition Beyond the Pale: Contemporary Indigenous Art2000 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art; the RAKA AWARD: Places that name us, The Potter Museum of Art, 2003 and the Biennale of Sydney at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney in 2004. (Source: NGV)

babar the elephant, johnny the sycophant

very very friendly fire

Terrorism and Terraism

"I have coined a term 'Terraism' (taken from terra nullius) to push an Aboriginal agenda in the debate in regards to our continual fight for our lands. 'Terraism' is also an attempt to disarm the hypocrisy of the governmental finger pointers. Noam Chomsky says, the only way to stop terrorism is not to participate in it. Aboriginal rights are the last thing to be considered when it comes to mammonic regimes and multi-national investments on our land. The Australian government is still under England's influence and embraces capitalist imperialist ideologies of the United States of America. Australia is not a country or a federation, it's a multinational corporation. This government and its people are so blind with greed, they cannot see how their present actions destructively impacts on lands which we hold in trust for generations to come. Agriculture, mining, pastoralism, primary industry, jobs and money are weak excuses when it comes to the kind of destruction it causes. They're killing our lands, they're still killing our people."  Read the rest here.

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