Pro Hart was an iconic Australian artist, known for his unique style and ability to capture the essence of the Australian outback in his paintings. Born as Kevin Charles Hart in 1928 in Broken Hill, New South Wales, Pro showed an interest in drawing and painting from a young age. However, his schoolteachers discouraged him from pursuing his artistic passions, so he did not seriously pursue it until later in life. After finishing his studies, Pro began to exhibit his work in local galleries, with his first solo exhibition being held in 1962 at the Bonython Gallery in Adelaide, South Australia.
Pro became famous for his depictions of outback life, drawing from his childhood on a sheep shearing station, adolescence in a mining town, and short career in the mines. These experiences gave him a unique perspective on the Australian outback that continues to captivate people all over the world. His paintings showcase the vibrant colour palette of the outback and contrast the harshness of the landscape with the humour and joy of the community
Early Adult Life
Pro’s life in the mines influenced his future in many ways, including giving him the name his wife would come to call him by. His co-workers at the North Broken Hill Consolidated Mine nicknamed him “Pro” due to his proclivity to tinker and invent in his spare time. His time in the mines also inspired a series of paintings that depict the dark and dangerous conditions miners face every day, while also highlighting the camaraderie and sense of community that developed among them.
While Pro is most famous for his outback and mining scenes, he was a deeply spiritual person who felt called to share his faith through his artwork. He produced many paintings with religious themes, showcasing his faith, and even painted on small Bibles so that those who wanted his art could also have the chance to read the scriptures.
Pro Hart’s artwork was not limited to any one theme or subject matter, and he remains one of Australia’s most celebrated artists. His unique style, which blended elements of realism and surrealism, set him apart from other famous Australian artists. Despite being discouraged from following his artistic passions in his youth, Pro returned to art later in life and achieved great success. His ability to capture the essence of his subjects and showcase the beauty and complexity of the Australian outback continues to inspire artists and art lovers all over the world.