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Gavin O'Keefe

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Subject: Polocrosse, Terror Australis, Lovecraft's Book, Leigh Blackmore
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Gavin O'Keefe

Gavin L. O'Keefe
Born Australia
Occupation Artist, writer
Nationality Australian

Gavin L. O'Keefe is a book illustrator and designer.


Early life

Born in Melbourne. Lived in Sydney from the early-1980s to 1990. During that period, his artwork (usually black and white, though sometimes colour) was included in a variety of non-fiction books, science-fiction and horror magazine and other publications. His earliest covers were for books by Australian writers Jacob G. Rosenberg, Alex Skovron, Walter Adamson, and Ian Kennedy Williams. O'Keefe now lives in the United States.


O'Keefe's work has appeared in many journals, including Crypt of Cthulhu, Phantastique, Pulse of Darkness, Shadowplay, Terror Australis, Esoterica, Wildfire and Theosophy in Australia. He has also provided illustrations for anthologies such as Terror Australis: Best Australian Horror.

He contributed some 'horsey' drawings to the first book devoted to the sport of polocrosse in Australia ("Polocrosse: Australian Made, Internationally Played" by Sally Boillotat, Belcris Books, Sydney 1990).

O'Keefe's first illustrations for Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures In Wonderland (subtitled 'The GO Alice') were published in Melbourne in 1990; a new edition with entirely new illustrations was published by Ramble House in 2011. He has also illustrated Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark.

He has had an interest in the art of Australian painters Rosaleen Norton, Norma Bull, and Vali Myers. He has also written essays on writers and artists, such as "Sita and Salome: A Short Comparative Look at the Art of Aubrey Beardsley and Mervyn Peake" in Peake Studies 2, No 3 (Winter 1991) and "Alice's Odyssey in Oz", Oz Arts 7 (1993).

O'Keefe illustrates for a wide variety of media, as exemplified by his artwork for the comic Jonny Flathead, Psychotronic Werewolf from Chris G.C. Sequeira's Sequence Productions.

O’Keefe has also illustrated Ramble House.)

Time Line: Selected Illustrations (Ramble House, 2010) collects a range of O'Keefe's illustrations from his first four decades, including designs inspired by the macabre stories of H. P. Lovecraft, Tod Robbins and Edgar Allan Poe, illustrations for science-fiction works by Richard A. Lupoff, Robert Sheckley and Philip José Farmer, drawings for the ‘nonsense’ stories of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, drawings inspired by the music of King Crimson, Queen and Brian Eno, cover illustrations for mystery novels by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Mark Hansom, Walter S. Masterman, Richard E. Goddard and Arlton Eadie, and a range of fairy and fantasy art.

A new edition of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with O'Keefe's black-&-white illustrations was released by Ramble House in 2013; these illustrations follow the symbolism of Theosophy and the Tarot.



  • 2002 Sixth Annual Imitate Keeler Competition, for the story "Turn Up on Time!"[1]


  • Alice 125: A Celebration. Melbourne: Carroll Foundation, 1990 (exhibition catalogue; includes biography on, and article by, O'Keefe), p. 216
  • "Illustrators of Peake", Peake Studies 2, No 1 (Winter 1990), pp. 28–29.
  • "The O'Keefe File" (interview by Bryce J. Stevens), Choking Dog Gazette, 4 (Winter 1999).
  • "Two Interviews with Gavin L. O'Keefe" (interviews by Leigh Blackmore), Mantichore 3, No 4 (Whole Number 12) (Feb 2009).

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