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Greer Honeywill

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Title: Greer Honeywill  
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Subject: Conceptual art
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Greer Honeywill

An example of Greer Honeywill's art practice.
Greer Honeywill - Off the Plan - 2009 (wood, found object, horse's tail).

Greer Honeywill (born 1945 in Adelaide, South Australia) is an Australian conceptual artist whose work fuses sculptural conventions, autobiography and critical thinking.[1]

Life and education

Born the daughter of Donald Desmond Spooner (1910-1989), a classical pianist who studied for a short time at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide[2] before becoming a self-taught realist painter. From 1954 Spooner exhibited regularly at the Walter Wotzke Gallery,[3] Hahndorf, South Australia, and the Royal South Australian Society of Arts.[4] He won the Maude Vizard-Wholohan Prize in 1955 and became a Fellow of the RSASA in 1958.[5]

Influenced by her father, Greer Honeywill studied art at the South Australian School of Art and Western Teachers College (now University of South Australia) graduating as an art teacher in 1964.[6] She was invited to continue her studies in drama at Adelaide Teachers College in 1967 (now University of South Australia).[7] In 2003 she graduated from Monash University, PhD in Fine Art and was awarded the Mollie Holman Medal for academic excellence.[8]

After a brief marriage to David Druce, 1969-1976, she married author and social researcher Ross Honeywill in 1977. They reside in Tasmania.[9]

Early work

Between 1963 and 1976 Greer Honeywill worked as stage designer with various Adelaide theatre groups. Her designs for the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild best characterise this period particularly Eureka Stockade,[10] 1974, and the 1976 production of Jumpers,[11] both Adelaide Fringe Festival productions. In 1974 she joined the founding committee for the Come Out Youth Arts Festival, a key program of the Adelaide Festival of Arts. Between 1974 and 1981 she created and directed six large-scale, multidisciplinary works. Pageant (1977)[12] and Perambulations Games (1979)[13] were televised nationally by ABC TV, while The Arts Circus (1979)[13] was referred to as a ‘masterpiece for children’.[14] The Human Chess Tournament (1975)[15] exploring human relationships through the medium of live chess, played for 5 days in the Amphitheatre of the Adelaide Festival Centre before becoming part of a new music concert in The Space. Composer, Malcolm Fox (1946-1997) created Cheque Mate, a musical contest between two groups of musicians dependent on the movement of the live chess pieces. The Human Chess Tournament was the first non-music event staged in the amphitheatre at the Adelaide Festival Centre. The Adelaide Festival, 1976, commissioned Super Scrabble[16] for the amphitheatre. British actor John Stride (playing Coriolanus for The South Australian Theatre Company's Adelaide Festival production), officiated as The Adjudicator.

Honeywill resigned from the South Australian Education Department in 1982 to begin work as an event director.


Greer Honeywill relocated to Melbourne, 1990. She joined a shared studio space, '308B at Sydney Road' in Brunswick, Victoria, 1991-1998 with painter David Disher, (winner of the Sulman Prize, 2007), Judy Horocek, cartoonist, artist, writer and children's book creator and Michael Pearce, artist and stage designer. Major work from this period, the collaborative The Great Australian Dream Exhibition,[17] was exhibited at Gallery 101, Melbourne, 1995.

In 1998 Greer Honeywill returned to research-based studies at Monash University, Melbourne, where more than three decades of focus on human interaction, social patterning, child’s play and reflections on her own suburban childhood shaped a new body of work that continues. Dr Susan Sidlauskas, now Associate Professor & Graduate Program Director 19th Century, Rutgers, University of New Jersey[18] described the exegesis accompanying the body of work as a…fascinating hybrid of academic research, oral history, social analysis, artistic imagination, autobiography and archiving. It was quite unlike anything I had read before, but I was completely impressed by the author’/artist’s breadth of research and artistic imagination.[19]

In 2003 she was awarded a PhD in fine art by Monash University, Melbourne. Since 2003 Honeywill has continued to make work from large-scale outdoor installations to more formal plinth based sculptural objects and wall mounted text based works. Greer Honeywill is interested in distillation, repetition, modularity and generative processes that provide understanding of how history, society and culture impact on the human condition.[20]

Greer Honeywill relocated to Tasmania in 2010 and in late 2011 commenced a second PhD at the University of Tasmania, to be completed in February 2015.


  • 2000 Allport Writing Award (Textile Fibre Forum magazine)
  • 2002 Coates and Wood Foundry Prize
  • 2002 Monash University, Doctoral Completion Scholarship
  • 2003 Yering Station Sculpture Prize
  • 2003 World Sculpture News Prize
  • 2003 Mollie Holman Academic Medal, Monash University
  • 2005 Invited installation artist, Castlemaine State Festival, Post Office Installation Series
  • 2006 Arts Victoria, Arts Development Grant
  • 2008 Mitchell Family Award, (Montalto Sculpture Prize)
  • 2008 Inaugural artist in residence, Carr Design Group, Melbourne
  • 2009 Sunshine Coast Art Prize, Commended Award


  1. ^ Off The Plan ~ Greer Honeywill
  2. ^ Donald Desmond Spooner, Student Card 4802, The University of Adelaide
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Donald Desmond Spooner, Royal South Australian Society of Arts, Fellowship Diploma number 15, 1958
  6. ^ Greer Spooner, South Australian School of Art, Diploma in Art Teaching, number 135
  7. ^ University of South Australia, Transcript of Academic Record, Greer Honeywill (then Spooner) 1967
  8. ^
  9. ^ Hobart Mercury - Saturday 6 November 2010. P5
  10. ^ University of Adelaide Theatre Guild, Eureka Stockade, program, 1974
  11. ^ University of Adelaide Theatre Guild, Jumpers, program, 1976
  12. ^ Come Out 77 Pageant, PIC-A-PAK no 421 - Educational Technology Centre, South Australia, 1977
  13. ^ a b Come Out 79 program - Adelaide Festival of Arts
  14. ^ David Dolan, The Adelaide Advertiser, 5 May 1979
  15. ^ Program for Come Out 75 - Adelaide Festival of Arts
  16. ^ Adelaide Festival of Arts, Booking Guide, 1976, p.21
  17. ^ Jason Steger, The Sunday Age,1995
  18. ^
  19. ^ Monash University, Examiner’s Report on PhD Thesis (Visual Arts), Candidate: Greer Honeywill
  20. ^ Prof Carol Shepheard (ONZM), Artists Profile magazine, issue 6, February 2009. Pp 46-48

External links

  • [1] Greer Honeywill's website
  • [2] Greer Honeywill on ABC TV's Sunday Arts program
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