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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Bob Hawke

2012
Luke Cornish

hand-cut acetate stencil, aerosol enamel on canvas (frame: 185.8 cm x 140.0 cm, support: 183.0 cm x 138.0 cm)

Robert James Lee Hawke AC (1929–2019) was Australia's 23rd prime minister and remains the longest-serving Labor prime minister in Australia's history. In 1980, he won the seat of Wills in the Federal election; in early 1983, within weeks of challenging for the party leadership, he led the ALP to their greatest election win in 40 years. He led the Party to victory for a record four terms, but is equally remembered for moments such as his public reaction to Australia's victory in the 1983 America's Cup. As prime minister, Hawke oversaw the enactment of landmark legislation such as the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 and the World Heritage Properties Conservation Act 1983. In December 1991, he was defeated by Paul Keating in a ballot for the party leadership. In retirement, the 'Silver Bodgie' held a number of directorships in the business sector while also remaining active in the Labor movement.

In 2012, Luke Cornish (also known as ELK) went to Hawke's apartment overlooking Sydney Harbour to take photographs in preparation for this work. His portrait depicts Hawke as he appeared that day, his trademark ravaged tan set off by his white outfit, gold chain and lively platinum hair.

Purchased 2013
© Luke Cornish

Artist and subject

Luke Cornish (age 33 in 2012)

Bob Hawke (age 83 in 2012)

Subject professions

Government and leadership

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

The Honourable Bob Hawke savouring a strawberry milkshake, 2017 by Harold David
The Honourable Bob Hawke savouring a strawberry milkshake, 2017 by Harold David
The Honourable Bob Hawke savouring a strawberry milkshake, 2017 by Harold David
The Honourable Bob Hawke savouring a strawberry milkshake, 2017 by Harold David

The intellectual larrikin

Magazine article by Barrie Cassidy, 2019

Barrie Cassidy pays textured tribute to the inimitable Bob Hawke.

Primed

Some Prime Ministers

Previous exhibition, 2019

Seventeen of Australia’s thirty prime ministers to date are represented in the contrasting sizes, moods and mediums of these portraits.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency