Sean O’Keeffe – Hoaxville, 2019

Exhibition view featruring Sean O’Keeffe – Hoaxville (left) and Anne Graham – Keeping the Wolf From the Door, (right)

Hoaxville is about secrets. 

It speaks of the arcane amorality of war and the dark opprobrious compromises made during times of conflict. It whispers of the recondite and the shameful and reaffirms the adages that truth is a casualty. 

And that although the victor may not always write history, it may take some time before truths tenuously are revealed, like a gentle balm of Lilac in the breeze.

In 1941 the military base, Marrangaroo, Lithgow, was not only a base for chemical weapons it was disguised to look from the air like a small country village to prevent attack from Japanese air raids. Dubbed Hoaxville, the elaborate subterfuge was highly detailed with shop fronts, houses, schools a church and grazing animals. Soldiers and military personnel dressed as townsfolk hiding the complex and secretive military work behind its floral curtains.


Sean O’Keeffe is a practicing artist, filmmaker, teacher and writer. He works in a variety of mediums ranging from video, painting drawing and site specific sculpture. Sean’s art practice has generally been a response to the environment he lives in and since 2005 has largely been a response to the environment of The Blue Mountains.

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© Resilience in Times of Adversity, 2019