Caroline's practice encompasses creating sculptural fibre art and baskets using harvested materials from her surroundings. An experiment with some eucalyptus bark to create a small basket was the start of a fascination in fibre art with plant materials for Caroline Hawkins a Surfcoast artist. Some formal learning soon followed with a local basket weaver Joy Beeby and through Basketmakers Victoria.
“It’s very satisfying in that I feel a part of my environment as I search for suitable weaving plants.”
Originally trained at Ravensbourne Art College, London in 3D design, she has been working in arts and crafts for the past 25 years, creating art work, holding workshops and working as a community artist. A Diploma in Sustainability has further informed the integration of sustainability practices within her art, not only in materials and methods chosen, but in developing themes such as awareness raising of endangered species. Development opportunities have included learning from indigenous basketweavers and several overseas trips to learn basketry techniques from other cultures. Often to discover there are many similarities in methods, but using materials which relate to the local environment.
“The more I learn about the techniques of weaving, the more I feel connected to the depth of knowledge and an ancient culture in a hands on way.”
Caroline is equally at home whilst teaching and supporting others with their creative endeavours as with making her own artwork. She has a wealth of experience in working with new migrants to Australia, sometimes without English, in maintaining traditional cultural craft practices.
“Cultural crafts often form an important part of people's identity, it supports their wellbeing when they are able to create and share with others.”
Caroline exhibits her art and holds weaving workshops regularly and welcomes your enquiries for commissions
Ma Nge, Hee gay and Thabi Tha, new migrants to Australia at Diversitat, migrant settlement agency, Geelong
Joy Beeby for introducing me to basket weaving and for her tuition and encouragment along the way.
Basket Makers Victoria for their invaluable knowledge of plant materials as basketry fibres.
Bryant Holsenbeck, Fibre and wire artist from California
Bronwyn Razem, Indigenous master weaver for teaching me how to make bush toys and indigenous basket weaving.
Vice President of Surf Coast Arts Inc
Member of Basket Weavers of Victoria
Treasurer of Geelong Sculptors Inc