The James Gleeson oral history collection

James Gleeson interviews Australia's major artists

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Weaver Hawkins 'Mother and child' c.1928, print, relief, edition unknown, 28.6 h x 39.0 w cm, purchased 1976

Weaver Hawkins
Mother and child
print, relief
edition unknown
28.6 h x 39.0 w cm
purchased 1976
more detail

Rene Hawkins

20 June 1979

James Gleeson: Yes. Oh, good. Now this one.

Rene Hawkins: That’s oil on canvas, of course.

James Gleeson: Mother and child in Malta in 1925. Is that you?

Rene Hawkins: Yes, yes, with one of the infants.

James Gleeson: Yes.

Rene Hawkins: I fed babies every way except on my head.

James Gleeson: Weaver drew you all the time.

Rene Hawkins: That was why. Some of his sketches are really beautiful, because he just had a great block like this and he’d do it and tear it off and throw it down.

James Gleeson: I see.

Rene Hawkins: Tear it off like that.

James Gleeson: When Weaver would paint a picture like this, would he work from a preliminary sketch?

Rene Hawkins: Oh, yes.

James Gleeson: Very definitely. All worked out.

Rene Hawkins: Very definitely, very carefully. His perspective and everything was done with strings and in the early days, you know, everything was very meticulous.

James Gleeson: Yes.

Rene Hawkins: The way he did it, you know. Some people like his sketches better because the sketches are spontaneous things, the finished work is completely cerebral.

James Gleeson: Yes, yes. This has a strange perspective.

Rene Hawkins: Yes.

James Gleeson: Now how did he achieve that? Was he standing?

Rene Hawkins: He was standing on, you know, a platform thing.

James Gleeson: I see, looking down.

Rene Hawkins: Yes, yes.

James Gleeson: It makes a marvellous shape in that picture area.

Rene Hawkins: Yes, yes it does. Yes, I think it’s quite terrific.

James Gleeson: Yes, yes, it is. It’s a lovely one. So that was when you were living in Malta?

Rene Hawkins: Yes. Yes, that’s right, Malta.

James Gleeson: Nineteen twenty-five.

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