Looking down from Hughes Step
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Born in Perth in 1938, Bill Hawthorn has studied at Claremont Teacher's College, Perth Technical College, the University of Western Australia, The Western Australian Institute of Technology (now Curtin University) , the London School of Arts, Banff School of Fine Arts in Canada (now Banff Centre for the Arts) and the University of Orgon in the U.S.
On returning to Western Australia he became a lecturer at numerous Teachers Colleges before lecturing in the Visual Arts at Edith Cowan University. He retired from full-time lecturing in 1994.
His first, shared, exhibition was at the Cremorne Gallery in Perth in 1972, and his first solo was at Desborough Galleries in Perth two years later. Since then he has exhibited, both solo and in company, at private and public galleries throughout Australia and overseas. His work appears in the collections of the Supreme Court in Perth, Murdoch University, Gomboc Art Gallery, Chung Ang University in Seoul and Chiang Mia University in Thailand, as well as other public and private collections in Australia, the United Kingdom, the USA and Canada.
He has won a variety of awards and commisions, including Guild of Undergraduates Oil Painting Prize, University of Western Australia in 1961, Bronze Medallion Photographic Award at New York World Fair in 1964/65, a Western Australian Arts Council Travel Grant in 1974, the sculpted Church Cross for Doubleview Methodist Church in 1979 and Joint Winner of the Wanneroo City Art Awards for sculpture in 2005.
A number of different themes appear in Bill Hawthorn's work. One of these has been an interest in Landscape, especially in challenging landforms where he seeks to find the drama and spiritual elements that may be revealed under certain lighting and atmospheric conditions.
Another recurring theme is the inner world of visions and dreams. These paintings and drawings depict an imaginary landscape sometimes inhabited by human figures that can be seen as space and time travelers of either heroic or comic dimensions.