In 1977 Cameron Hooker picked up a hitchiker, 19-year old Colleen Stan…

In 1977 Cameron Hooker picked up a hitchhiker, 19-year old Colleen Stan. Hooker kept Stan in a specially made rabbit hutch underneath his waterbed for seven years. She was the third woman he had tried. This is Hooker’s mobile home on his 27th birthday. by Cameron Hayes. 1998, oil on linen, 66 x 78 inches.

The bedroom of the 27-year old Cameron Hooker reveals a personal history, with books, pets, whiteboards, newspapers, clothes all devices which also build a portrait of a personality.

Over many years his masturbatory talent has developed to the level of making real images of his memory and characters from his pornographic paraphernalia. Hooker has the power to visualise his own fantasies to a point where they come to life and crawl all over the room. But, as fantasy is elevated to the level of reality, reality is relegated to the level of fantasy. A train crash in India has killed hundreds. Thousands of African children starve to death. A girl missing is found dead.

He has cut a chain of paper dolls from a newspaper where serial killers hold hands with victims of war, who hold hands with spread legged women, with a plane crash of 99, with a rapist soldier, with movie ads, with oral sex, murder, football scores,  they are all the same linked chain. They are all of equal value.

In 1977 Cameron Hooker picked up a hitchhiker, 19 year old Colleen Stan. Hooker kept Stan in a specially made rabbit hutch underneath his waterbed for seven years. She was the third woman he had tried. This is Hooker’s mobile home on his 27th birthday.

Colleen lived with Hooker and his wife Janice from 1977 to 1980 sleeping in a 3-foot by 3-foot box in which she had to fold herself into a foetal position to fit. Hooker let her out for walks inside the caravan with a specially built head box on made of heavy wood, which fitted tightly around her head, but was very difficult to see out of.

By 1980 Colleen proved to be so obedient that Hooker rewarded her by making her a much more spacious specially built rabbit hutch of chicken wire and wood, hidden underneath his waterbed.

After seven years Colleen Stan decided to escape, but still it took her two years before she reported her story to the police. During those two years a worried Colleen rang Hooker regularly to make sure he was eating right and that his clothes were being cleaned. Both Colleen and his wife Janice said that they loved Hooker and claimed to understand him.

Cameron Hayes: “Colleen Stan and Janice Hooker – who lived with Hooker and Stan during the 7 years – understood Hooker and both claimed to have loved him. In this picture I have tried to understand and describe Hooker.”

Detail.

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