Kevin's cover image
Kevin

Kevin PERKINS AM

Year of Award: 1982 Award State: Tasmania Arts - Visual > Woodcarving And Turning
Trades > Furniture
To study and observe the style and developments occurring in furniture designers/makers and Indigenous woodworkers - UK, USA, Canada
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Kevin is a Tasmanian furniture designer- maker, whose inspiration often comes from nature and conservation and a sense of place. It is important for him to use Tasmanian timbers and he highlights the natural beauty of these materials through his work.

Born in Tasmania, he studied joinery at Devonport Technical College from 1960 to 1965 and studio sculpture in 1973. He was awarded his Fellowship in 1982 and since then has established a reputation as Australia’s foremost maker of fine timber furniture. In the 1970s Kevin built his own home in southern Tasmania using affordable celery top pine salvaged from Tasmania’s southern forests.

He has exhibited in numerous exhibitions locally, nationally and internationally e.g. in Canberra, San Francisco and Chicago. He has work displayed in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery; the Tasmanian Wood Design Collection, Launceston; the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

His collaborative commissions date back to 1980 and include the extraordinary refurbishment of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta. He has also worked one of his favourite timbers, deep red myrtle, into the cabinetry of the Prime Minister’s suite in Parliament House.

Kevin retired from teaching in 2006 to work full-time on his own furniture production, after lecturing at the Tasmanian School of Art in Hobart for 25 years.

He has been named as one of the Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft; and in 2002 he received the Centenary Medal, Order of Australia for his contribution to education and the arts, specifically furniture design and sculpture. 

Excerpt from “Bringing Knowledge Home” published by the Churchill Fellows Association of Tasmania (2016) 

Awards and Honours

  • 2019 awarded Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the visual arts as a timber craftsman, designer and sculptor.
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