Find out what makes George and Jane Quintessentially Cockburn

Main points:
  • Partners in life and art, Spearwood’s George Haynes and Jane Martin are synonymous with Perth’s professional art scene
  • George Haynes and Jane Martin are the 6th addition to our Quintessentially Cockburn series
  • See their art at Show Off 18 at Memorial Hall, Hamilton Hill, 18-26 March.

Partners in life and art, Spearwood’s George Haynes and Jane Martin are synonymous with Perth’s professional art scene, as prolific sought-after creators and respected elders and teachers in careers spanning a combined 100+ years.

While each have their own art practice and style, they experiment with various painting mediums depending on the subject matter from their light-filled Spearwood studio, a former Babich market garden potato and onion sorting shed.

Jane’s work tends to focus on landscapes and still life – with a more recent fruitful obsession for largescale colour-soaked woollen cross-stitch in a project she has enjoyed sharing with her daughters.

After many decades, including much landscape work, George is primarily in the studio producing sophisticated illuminated studies ranging from nature’s inspiration to much-loved vistas of a peaceful domestic and suburban existence.

The pair is undeniably Quintessentially Cockburn, such is their dedication to their historic Spearwood studio and lush surrounding garden fed by a rich belt of that famous Spearwood Red soil atop limestone, and the community art scene, especially Show Off in which they have participated every year since its 2003 inception.

Show Off a “democratic collection”

The City of Cockburn’s annual Show Off exhibition – this year’s instalment set down for 18-26 March at the Memorial Hall in Hamilton Hill – has been seen by thousands over the past 20 years, exhibiting works collectively valued at more than $2.4m from more than 800 exhibitors.

“There is no other exhibition like Show Off anywhere. It is a democratic collection of passionately made art by the people of Cockburn,” Jane said.

“This means there is variety and diversity and inclusivity in these gutsy exhibitions, which is a credit to the City and curator Cassandra Cooper,” George said. 

Childhood experiences influenced artists’ love of drawing and painting

Both Jane and George credit their discovery of a love of creative drawing and painting to a childhood where their parents refused to buy toys – apart from a few Dinky Diecast cars in Jane’s case – expecting them to use found objects to create their own fun.

For Kenya-born George, there was always pencil and paper at his disposal despite growing up in very isolated African outposts where his father worked as a doctor.

He studied at the Chelsea School of Art and soon after arriving in WA in 1962, began a life of national and international exhibiting, winning various accolades. He has taught some of WA’s best-known painters across the decades including Giles Hohnen, Jeremy Kirwan-Ward, Eveline Kotai, Jonathon Snowball, Nigel Hewitt and Ben Joel.  

Jane, awarded and represented in Australia and overseas, began studying painting and drawing at Perth Tech in the 60s as a 15-year-old with dreams of illustrating book and album covers after spending seven years of her early childhood growing up in England. She now mainly exhibits through Perth’s Art Collective.

Quintessentially Cockburn artists reveal their favourite local haunt   

Aside from the undisputed beauty of Cockburn’s coastline, both say their favourite place in Cockburn is their garden and studio.

And why wouldn’t it be. It was pure grit that transformed the dusty, unlined 1960s work shed into today’s uplifting studio space.

Removing the huge concrete spud washing tank from the backyard made room for a new generation of growth and creativity, a garden featuring every shade of green, and a quiet respite to foster their unique artistic expression.

Find out more about Show Off 18 on the City’s website.

Learn more about the art of George Haynes and Jane Martin.
Read about our previous Quintessentially Cockburn inductees Marissa Verma, Matt Willson, Anna Davey, Soa ‘The Hulk’ Palelei and Belinda Cipriano.  

WHAT’S NEWS: You told us you wanted more grassroots news about what’s happening in your backyard here in the City of Cockburn.

We've created dedicated spaces on the City’s website where the community can access the latest news about what’s going on across the City’s 23 suburbs.

You can also read our media releases, responses to questions from media outlets, check out a weekly news wrap of some of the news stories impacting Cockburn, and learn about City events.

For our newsy segment called Quintessentially Cockburn, we prepare regular feature articles about some of our unique, iconic Cockburnalities and those fascinating movers and shakers making their names known in our City and further afield. 

To stay connected with Cockburn, be sure to bookmark this helpful News from the City page on our website.

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Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaadatj dayin boodja, kep wer malayin. Ngalak kaadatj koora koora wer yeyi ngalang birdiya.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for Country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past and present.