David Hawley

Over the past twenty years David Hawley has exhibited consistently in solo and group exhibitions in Australia and overseas.

Hawley completed a Master of Fine Art (Research) in 2003 and Phd in 2017 at the Tasmanian School of Creative Art in Hobart. He has received multiple grants through both NAVA and state arts funding bodies and has been short listed for a number of awards including the Fremantle Print Award, the Burnie Print Prize and Tidal; the City of Devonport Art Award.

The process of making art, particularly in relation to abstract painting, is an ongoing source of investigation and experimentation for Hawley. He is interested in the notion of expanded painting as a repositioning of absolutes and conventions to enable the continuation of specific strategies and ideologies.

Hawley’s work is represented in private and public collections, including the Devonport Art Gallery, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Artbank and the Burnie Regional Art Gallery. He currently lives and works in Hobart.

No Idea

When beginning a painting I aspire to remain open to possibility, to purge my mind of any preconceptions, to be without self-consciousness and the burden of consequence, to act intuitively and impulsively, to almost have no idea and to not know anything; nothing matters. This can be liberating.

I strive to maintain this condition throughout the making but the longer it continues the more impossible it becomes. With every decision and every action the nothing moves closer to something. It proliferates as a cycle or loop between recognition and unrecognition, between creation and destruction, between hope and futility, between idea and no idea.

These circumstances and their implications remain evident in the finished work.

Not knowing is not experience stripped clean of knowledge, but a mode of thinking where knowledge is put into question, made restless or unsure. Not knowing unsettles the illusory fixity of the known, shaking it up a little in order to conceive of things differently.[1]

Not knowing facilitates wonder.         – David Hawley 2016



David Hawley’s works are created through manipulations of technology, often coming about through the transformation of a singular motif by “input from two external devices; the first being computer software and the second a black and white analogue photocopier”. The result are works that holds both a sense of exploratory rigour and a delight in the endless permutation of the effects of chance, colour and movement.