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Grace Cochrane
Patrick Hall: Storing the Intangible

A Tasmanian Monograph
Craftsman House 2004
224 x 204
mm, hardcover, 64 pp
$39.95 rrp

His work thickened fingers raked through an old fry pan filled with a life time’s harvest of nuts and bolts, springs and washers, odds and ends. His searchings left little furrows like a plough turning fertile soil. Sometimes when he found the part for the job he would hold it in his fist and for an instant he’d breathe in the smell of a tractor that ran on kerosene or hear the throaty rumble of a car with leather seats (Tractor, 2000). In Patrick Hall's intricately crafted cabinets fabricated objects combine with intimate narratives and personal histories to reveal poetic glimpses into the human experience. Patrick refers to his meticulously detailed pieces as "emotional filing cabinets...an attempt to store and order the intangible".

Grace Cochrane is senior curator of Australian decorative arts and design at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. She is the author of the The Crafts Movement in Australia: a History (NSW University Press, 1992); has contributed to a number of other publications; given lectures and papers in all fields of the crafts; and has a long record of judging awards and opening exhibitions. She lived in Tasmania from1972-1986 and in 2001 curated the exhibition Response to the Island at the Long Gallery, Salamanca Place, for the first 10 Days on the Island Festival, in the same year that she received the Australia Council’s Visual Arts/Craft Board’s Emeritus medal. Her professional appointments have included membership of both the Crafts Board and the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council and the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board.