SCULPTOR OF WOOD: Woodwork artist Geoff Hannah prepares for his show at Lismore Gallery.
SCULPTOR OF WOOD: Woodwork artist Geoff Hannah prepares for his show at Lismore Gallery.

A master of the woodware wardrobe

CHESTA Drawz and The Lowboys is the latest and probably the last big exhibition (well at least for now) for master woodworker Geoff Hannah and his students.

For the past three years Hannah, who is 71 at Christmas, has been working on his piece for the display at the Lismore Regional Gallery from October 19 to December 1.

Geoff, the son of a sleeper cutter and sawmill worker, was born and raised on the Far North Coast, starting his career with Brown and Jolly before opening up his own business in 1973.

"And I've been working ever since - though it was mainly restoring in the early days," Geoff said.

"I'm slowing down.

"I can't lift things like I used to and I'm easing back a bit."

He said he had been holding exhibitions every four years since 1978 which was a big commitment "working four years ahead" and making it hard to go away for long.

But just because he is slowing down a little and won't be diving straight back into preparing for his next exhibition, that doesn't mean he is giving up - far from it.

He is still creating, still "living in (his) workshop" and could "teach every day of the week".

Considered a master craftsman, Geoff was awarded the Churchill Fellowship in 1980, travelling to France and England.

He studied furniture at the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre in Paris and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Apart from being a gifted master craftsman, he is a renowned teacher of his craft, having taught aspiring woodworkers from Longreach to Launceston and Muckadilla to Perth.

He was made an Honorary Fellow of the Southern Cross University in 2009.

In 2018 Geoff was awarded the Order of Australia for service to the visual arts through the production of furniture and marquetry.

As well Geoff's work, the exhibition will include the work of his students including Colin Fardon, Barbara Riordan, Jan Page, Sue Eagan, Ted Slattery, Lucille Stace, Rick Stewart, Sally Bates, Brian Emery, Darren Shaw, Rob Hurford, Brian Henry, Greg Foster, Paul Amour, Francesco Stassi, Gary Shallala-Hudson, Paul Laird, Wendy Laird, Paul Frangos, David Gilmore, Paul Tiernan, Carla McGuire, Marek Sojka, Tom Scarabellotti, Mike Evens and Rick Billson.

Contact details are 11 Rural St / PO Box 23A, Lismore, NSW 2480. Phone (02)66274600, or email art.gallery@lismore.nsw.gov.au or go to lismoregallery.org.