Sammy Hawker

Artist in Residence December 2023 - March 2024


Photo: Eloise Fuss

Sammy Hawker is an Australian-based multidisciplinary artist working on Ngunawal, Ngunnawal, and Ngambri country (Canberra Region, ACT). Sammy’s practice is driven by an interest in the immaterial and material presences within sites, spaces and the body. ‘Acts of Co-Creation’ was the title of Sammy’s first major solo exhibition and it remains a relevant term to describe her work. Inherent to these acts of co-creation is an appreciation for the sentience of the more-than-human. Sammy has co-created work with many beings including oceans, honeybees and even human ashes. In the making of these works, she recognises a distinct visual logic emerge from the material resonance of these organic contributors.

Throughout her residency, Sammy continued her research into the presences that permeate the geological, topographical, and historical features of Sydney Harbour. Sydney is built upon a bedrock of sandstone – formed from grains of sand, derived from rocks that existed 500-700 million years ago in what is now eastern Antarctica, and deposited by an ancient river. Sydney itself is a city built from Country – from its sandstone, but also the limestone that was mined from the shell-middens that once lined its harbour shores. Topographically a harbour is a holding space – the residue of Sydney’s dark history saturates its bays, banks and depths. Through her multi-disciplinary approach to visual research, Sammy worked with the Harbour to co-create imagery, in an attempt to give voice to the memories imbued within.