Gordon Hookey on Sculpture

Gordon Hookey, Australia b.1961 | King hit (for Queen and Country) 1999 | Synthetic polymer paint and oil on leather punching bag and gloves with steel swivel and rope noose | Bag: 96 x 34cm (diam.); gloves: 29 x 16 x 12cm (each); rope noose: 250cm | Purchased 2000. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Gordon Hookey’s King hit (for Queen and Country) 1999 is a provocative work that intimates action. The work consists of a boxing bag painted with porcine depictions of John Howard, Pauline Hanson and David Oldfield who hold their boxing gloves raised at the viewer ready for a fight. Below the bag is set of boxing gloves with the Australian Indigenous flag painted on to them. As Julie Ewington points out in her essay in the ‘Sculpture is Everything’ exhibition catalogue:

If one is Aboriginal, the implied invitation might be irresistible — a licensed expression of grievance — but if one is not, the proposition is radically challenging: where does one stand?

King hit (for Queen and Country) both references a very specific moment in Australia’s history and has a broader resonance. Peter McKay (Curator, Contemporary Australian Art) recently spoke with the Gordon Hookey about climate in which it was made and the power of making political objects.

Gordon Hookey was also interviewed for the Sculpture is Everything exhibition catalogue which is available for purchase from the QAGOMA Store and online

Ellie Buttrose is Assistant Curator, Contemporary International Art and Peter McKay is Curator, Contemporary Australian Art at QAGOMA.


  1. Hi I am related to Gordon and wish contact
    Lyla Grant Collins from Burnley .

  2. Hi. We will pass on this message to Gordon. Regards QAGOMA