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Living Treasures: Masters of Australian craft

Kevin Perkins - Master of Australian Craft 2008-2010

Born in 1945 in Launceston, Tasmania, furniture designer-maker, Kevin Perkins takes inspiration in conservation issues and a sense of place elicited by the history, traditions, forests and wildlife of his home-state.

Perkins is passionate about demonstrating the rich diversity of Tasmanian timbers - in contrast to bland plantation timbers - and continues to highlight the natural beauty of these materials through the strong sculptural forms of his work.

He studied Joinery at Technical College in 1965 and studio sculpture in 1973. He has established a reputation over four decades as Australia's foremost maker of fine timber furniture.

He has exhibited in numerous exhibitions, both nationally and internationally, recently including Material Culture (2005) at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and Convergence (2005), which toured to Hobart, San Francisco and Chicago. Perkins' work is included in many important collections including the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and the Tasmanian Wood Design Collection, Launceston.

His collaborative commissions date back to 1980 and include the extraordinary refurbishment of St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta.

Perkins retired from teaching in 2006, after lecturing at the Tasmanian School of Art, Hobart, for twenty-five years, to work full-time on his own furniture production.

Kevin Perkins
Coot Low Table, 2007
Dimensions: L:1620 x H:600 x D:430mm
Coot-King William pine and artists oil paint
Table top and base - swamp gum with castors

Kevin Perkins
Quail Low Table (detail), 2007
Dimensions: L:1050 x H:510 x D:510mm
Quail- bronze, Table- swamp gum with castors

Kevin Perkins
Cape Barren Chest (detail), 2005-2006
Dimensions: L:1660 x H:560 x D:480mm
Cape Barren goose - Huon pine and artists' oil paint
Cape Barren chest of drawers - Huon pine