1 SEPT - 23 SEP 2018

A multi-sensorial experience that includes hand-crafted architectural forms and interiors, sensory evocations, performances, sound works and participatory projects.


1 - 29 SEPTEMBER 2018 


For the full exhibition essay and catalogue click here.

A collaborative exhibition by Hunter-based artists Penny Thwaite and Matthew Tome, BEHAVE is a multi-sensorial experience that includes handmade architectural forms and interiors, sensory evocations, performances, sound and technology works and participatory projects.  

BEHAVE is informed by often little-known laws, by cultural norms and the human drive to grow, make and engage with materials, processes and technologies. Through the work the artists examine ‘rules’ that determine what materials we build with, what animals we can legally kill, what plants we grow and harvest and how we can use materials that we find on the ground.  

According to the law in NSW Australia, an artist is not able to use native flora and fauna (or parts thereof like teeth, bones or feathers) in public exhibition if they do not have a licence to do so.  After an initial plan to work with native bird feathers, the artist came to embrace pests and weeds, mice, cane toads, chickens, ducks and feral pigeons as part of their work.                                

A number of works in the exhibition speak to universal architectural forms. A key work is a performative installation in The Yard, where a handmade structure developed from a crop of materials farmed specifically for the work will be built in view of the audience. This ephemeral structure is linked strongly to innate human behaviours and to natural forms and materials, in direct contrast to the colonial architecture of The Lock-Up. 

In The Lock-Up’s main gallery, a 3m high structure made of nine hundred handmade mud bricks, created in the artists’ backyard, will continue the reflection on historical and cross cultural building forms. 

BEHAVE encourages viewers to touch, interact, experience, smell, look, hear, laugh, think and promotes people to perhaps ‘behave’ in a way that is different from how they would typically while visiting a gallery space.

11am every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Experience the scent of lemon scented melaleuca shredded on site.   

11am – 3pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 
Come and watch or get hands-on involved as you and the artists build a grass hut on site.


Penny Thwaite's formal art studies were at East Sydney Tech and Sydney College of the Arts in the late 80s and early 90s. Since then, she has continued a studio and exhibition practice, participated in an artist exchange program in Canada, worked in arts administration and curating, including at First Draft and The Performance Space in Sydney, and spent 7 years as an artist in the Youth Arts Program at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Her work is based in performance, sculpture and installation with her most recent exhibitions  being at the Newcastle Community Art Space, SilkHouse and The Emporium in Hunter Street Mall and Eden Art, a Renew Newcastle gallery. Her interests range from taxidermy to performance art. She earns money as a nurse, and is currently learning to spin and to play the violin.  


Matthew Tome is a painter, drawer, printmaker and installation artist. He has studied at Meadowbank College of TAFE (Art Cert, 1984), City Art Institute SCAE (BA,1987), College of Fine Arts, UNSW (Grad DIp,1990), UTS Sydney (Grad Dip) & Macquarie University (MA,2001). Matthew is currently Head Teacher, Fine Arts at Newcastle Art School, Hunter St TAFE. His practice is multidisciplined, centred on drawing but using many forms, methods and scales. He has a deep interest in history and science and has an MA in Ancient History.  His work however, deals with a wide range of subjects and cultural references. 

Tome has exhibited extensively since 1986 in numerous solo and group exhibitions and has worked on a number of collaborative projects. His installation works include Rebuilding (First Draft, Sydney 1989) Under the House (with Tess Horwitz, Artspace, Sydney 1990), The Wrong Side of the World (SilkHouseArtProjects, Newcastle 2009), each involving significant construction, sculptural and architectural elements. Painting, printmaking and drawing exhibitions include Oppenheimer’s Chair and Gyprock Cave (Art Systems Wickham, Newcastle, 2016,2014) and has been a finalist in the Jacaranda Drawing Prize (1998,2006,2010,2014). A Little Respect, a print collaboration with Michael Kempson, toured regional art galleries throughout 1999-2001.