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February 4, 2023

Awesome bloke will unveil ‘Jubilee House’ at Lismore Regional Gallery

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Eve Jeffery

Geoff Hannah is an awesome bloke. There are not many truer truths than that.

From his humble beginnings hammering together bits of wood at Busby’s Flat, to starting his own furniture business in 1973 with $200 in his pocket, then travelling to Europe on a Churchill Fellowship, to creating the magnificent Hannah Cabinet, Geoff is still, in his own words, ‘only a furniture maker’.

Geoff Hannah and some of his students at his workshop in Lismore. Photo Rebecca Rushbrook.

As well as being a gifted master craftsman, Hannah is renowned for passing his knowledge along, having taught aspiring woodworkers from Longreach to Launceston and Muckadilla to Perth. Geoff still teaches classes three days a week in Lismore and all of his students, down the last man, woman and child, feel there is something very special about this seemingly ordinary bloke.

Geoff isn’t an ordinary bloke and the proof of that is in his work – he will reveal his new piece, the Jubilee House, at an upcoming exhibition of fine woodwork featuring his works and that of his students at Lismore Regional Gallery.

While a significantly smaller piece than the Hannah Cabinet, in the tradition if often unbelievable Hannah pieces, Jubilee House is also an exquisite labour of love that was three years in the making.

It is made of Brazilian and Sapele mahogany, ebony and satinwood and includes many stone features including window panes of Brazilian agate, 730 jade roof tiles, 18 ebony columns and a jasper foundation.

Jubilee House will be first revealed to the public at the official opening of the exhibition tonight at 6pm the gallery. It will remain on display until December 1.

Chesta Drawz and the Low Boys

The exhibition, Chesta Drawz and the Low Boys, also features more than 60 beautiful works by 26 of Geoff Hannah’s students, some of who have been studying under Geoff for more than 19 years.

The works include intricate boxes, sideboards, dressers, mirrors, tables and two guitars.

The pieces are made of every imaginable wood including RedCedar, Walnut, Ebony and Brazilian Mahogany. Some works are adorned with beautiful marquetry of king parrot, horses, grass trees, plants and street art or simply the elegant lustre, grain and colour of the various woods.

The exhibition features the work of Geoff Hannah OAM and his students: Paul Armour (Boori Creek), Sally Bates (Lismore), Rick Billson (Alstonville), Sue Egan (Goonellabah), Brian Emery (Goonengerry), Mike Evans (Marom Creek), Colin Fardon (Lismore), Greg Foster (Goolmangar), David Gilmore (Brisbane), Brian Henry (Goonellabah), Rob Hurford (Ballina), Paul Laird (Coraki), Wendy Laird (Coraki), Carla McGuire (Lismore), Jan Page (Lismore), Barbara Riordan (Tregeagle), Tom Scarrabelotti (Bentley), Gary Shallala-Hudson (Lismore), Darren Shaw (Tintenbar), Ted Slattery (Alstonville), Marek Sojka (Lismore), Lucille Stace (Georgica), Francesco Stassi (Boori Creek), Rick Stewart (Lismore) and Paul Tiernan (Kyogle).

Many of the works in the exhibition are for sale.

The Chesta Drawz and the Low Boys exhibition will include free daily tours of the exhibition (11am) and a journey through the Hannah Cabinet (11.45am) until until December 1.


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  1. Geoff Hannah is a cabinet man but has never been in parliament. With wood and a lathe he can fashion the best-looking and most functional piece of furniture ever made and also provides the polish as he goes.

  2. I wish my friend and me could go and lesson yo Mr Hannah but we don’t understand well the days we can have this chance. Would you kindly send us a clear time table of when we can see the cabinet and also the exhibition of the students ?


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