Gordon Hookey was born in Cloncurry Queensland and belongs to the Waanyi people.
Hookey's work combines figurative characters, iconic symbols, bold comic-like text and a spectrum of vibrant colours. Through this idiosyncratic visual language he has developed a unique and immediately recognisable style. Hookey locates his art at the interface where Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultures converge. He explicitly attacks the establishment and implicates our current political representatives.
Art was part of Hookey's upbringing; he has been painting since Grade 2 at school but would get frustrated because he always saw things differently. He was encouraged to learn a trade and, after completing his school certificate in 1977, Hookey embarked on a course in bricklaying which he completed in 1984. He saw his trade experience as an advantage because his favoured medium is sculpture. He states: "Painting is like a waltz, sculpture is like heavy metal: sculpture is more active and physical, it enables me to get my hands dirty."
Hookey then began an Arts degree at the University of Queensland, which he discontinued to pursue a career as an artist.
Hookey joined Boomalli in 1992 while attending College of Fine Arts, Paddington, completing a BA in Fine Arts. His work was featured in the major exhibition Beyond the Pale: Contemporary Indigenous Art, 2000 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art; the RAKA AWARD: Places that name us, The Potter Museum of Art, 2003 and the Biennale of Sydney at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney in 2004.