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Celebrating Townsville Exhibition - The Artists

Educational resources regarding the artists participating in JCU Library's "Celebrating Townsville" exhibition for the T150 project

Picture Block Seats with Cushions

b.1958 Australia
Picture Block Seats with Cushions: Fingerprint,
Lotus, Sticks/Stones/Bones, Ant Track
MDF, trapunto/quilted cushions
Each block 40 x 40 x 40 cm
Collection of the artist
Photograph: Michael Marzik

Picture Block Seats with
Cushions: Fingerprint,
Lotus, Sticks/Stones/Bones,
Ant Track
by Jane Hawkins (1958-).
Photograph: Michael Marzik.

The picture blocks and the three small window sculptures relate to a theme recalling memories of childhood experiences that ran through the artist’s exhibition held in 2013 at Umbrella Studio contemporary arts (Townsville). This particular work is based on the picture cube games that the artist’s generation played with as children, where a different picture was on each face of 9 (or more) movable blocks. The sculpture is a bit like these 3D puzzle blocks.

Each face of each cube is quite different but in the right configuration they make an image. The artist configures the units in different arrangements each time they are displayed. There are four different images which can be created by arranging these blocks. These are:

  1. An ant trail; a vertical trail (which is probably the way it will be exhibited in this exhibition).
  2. A thumb print; the whole print can be revealed if the blocks are placed in the correct position.
  3. Sticks, stones and bones; which relate to a children’s nursery rhyme or chant “Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me”.
  4. A lotus pod; a reference to an earlier exhibition.


The marks and images on each face were cut into the wood using a router saw. After this process was completed the surface was covered with many layers of clear Estapol sealant.

The cubes have a practical function and can be used as seats in different arrangements using the cushions which reside inside each of the blocks. The quilted image on each cushion relates to each of the 4 images created by arranging the blocks.

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country

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