Friday, 22 January 2010

A little bit of info about this months artist Pro Hart!

Kevin Charles "Pro" Hart, MBE (30 May 1928 – 28 March 2006), born in Broken Hill, New South Wales, was considered the father of the Australian Outback painting movement and his works are widely admired for capturing the true spirit of the outback. He was nicknamed "Professor" (hence "Pro") during his younger days, when he was known as an inventor.



His pictures are typically painted with oil or acrylic, scenes of rural town life, topical commentary and some religious subjects. His illustrations for the collection of Henry Lawson's poems show keen powers of character observation combined with a humorous wit. Some who he quipped were the "art mafia" have called his style populist and derivative. Pro was also a sculptor, working with welded steel, bronze and ceramics.

Pro Hart was known for his novel techniques including Cannon Painting and Balloon Painting and in 2002 was using his own DNA as a mark of authenticity in his paintings. Retrospective application of a DNA mark is available for older Pro Hart paintings.


He was a fervent opponent of gun laws in Australia, maintaining that everyone had a right to take it like a man. He once suggested that members of the Australian Labor Party and the Greens be thrown aboard a canoe in the middle of the Tasman Sea, with nothing more than a broken oar and rusted compass.

Pro believed in Government conspiracy theories. such as the covering up of UFO "sightings" and a world "database" containing information on every human on the planet.

Hart was also a personal friend of One Nation Party founder Pauline Hanson and financially assisted her when she was on trial for fraud charges in 2002.

He collected vintage cars and motor cycles, and invented many kinds of engines and machines. He enjoyed pistol shooting, reading the Bible, and organ music. He was the proud owner of a Rodgers electric pipe organ, which was said to be the largest of its kind in Australia. This was installed in his gallery, a step which considerably enhanced its value as a Broken Hill tourist attraction.

He was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1976. In 1982 he received an Honorary Life Membership of Society International Artistique for outstanding artistic achievement. He received an Australian Citizen of the Year award in 1983, and was known for his charitable work and generosity.

Pro Hart developed motor neurone disease in later life. He died in the early hours of 28 March, 2006. He had been unable to paint for the last six months of his life. A large state funeral was held for him on April 4, 2006 in Broken Hill — the first state funeral in New South Wales to be held west of the Blue Mountains.

He was interred in the Broken Hill cemetery.

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I have been to Broken hill and seen Pro Harts gallery, sculptures and many other things of interest. It was amazing, room after rooms filled with artwork....a great experience. - Shazza

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info Shazza !
    I didn't realise that Pro Hart suffered from motor neurone disease...awful condition that ! Love his work, and remember his TV commercial for the stain free carpet - and that poor cleaning lady LOL !

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  2. I didn't know he had died!!!thanks Shazza for the info...very interesting...xxx

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