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It’s art for Hart’s sake

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Married to successful contemporary artist David Hart, son of Pro Hart, Christine directs the day-to-day running of her husband’s galleries on the Coast.
179043 Chloe, Christine and David Hart at the Pro Hart Charity exhibition held at David Hart Galleries.

When you are a Hart, life dictates art.
Christine Hunt wed into the Hart art family dynasty. Married to successful contemporary artist David Hart, son of Australia’s iconic Pro Hart, Christine directs the day-to-day running of her husband’s galleries at Noosa and Mooloolaba.
For Christine, investing in art came naturally, but she said those not involved in the art world were often afraid to take the plunge into investment art. But that trend was changing.
“If you’ve done your research, art is a stable and secure investment that appreciates over time,” Christine said.
“Gradually, people are becoming aware of this and are buying art to diversify their investments, even investing in art as part of their superannuation. The important thing to remember when buying art is that it’s not like buying shares: you’ve got to hold on to the piece for at least five years.”
According to Christine, one of the main advantages of buying art is that it can be enjoyed in the home and passed through generations. “When you buy a piece of art for investment it’s not something you tuck away,’’ she said.
“You hang it on your wall and enjoy it every day.
“It becomes an important part of your day-to-day life.
“David and I have kept certain special pieces that will be passed on to our children and, we hope, stay in the Hart family.
“A sector of the market we’ve noticed growth in is parents buying art as milestone gifts for their children – for weddings, birthdays and anniversaries.”
Christine said that before starting an art collection, research was vital.
She said a good way to find information was to talk to art dealers, read art publications and use the internet.
“You need to know about the artist whose work you are buying – their background and prizes they’ve won,” she said.
“By keeping up to date with art happenings, you get a sense for who emerging investment artists are and can buy their work early in their career.”
Throughout June, David Hart Gallery at Noosa will hold its 2009 Collector’s Exhibition.
Some of the works for sale come from Christine and David’s private collection, including works by Pro Hart and David Boyd.
The total value of works for sale is $845,000, with art ranging in price from $500 to $95,000.
“One of the great things about buying art is that it is accessible to most budgets,” Christine said

Artist David Hart’s property is more than the family home

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my_property_review_march_2009Artist David Hart’s Tanawha property is more than the family home. It’s the centre of his business, the location of his studio and a showcase for his and his father’s work.
Approach the gates of artist David Hart’s home, and you know you’re in the right place, thanks to the bronze gragonflies that adorn the entrance.

More bang for buck

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The life of Pro Hart is being celebrated in Mooloolaba, providing a unique opportunity for collectors to acquire rare paintings and raise funds for breast cancer research.
David Hart with his father Pro Hart’s work ‘War Talk’ from the Gallipoli series. Photos: Michaela O’Neill/179083

Which Australian artist would set off explosives in his gallery just to get a feel for the atmosphere of his work?
Pro Hart, of course.
The life of the iconic Australian artist is being celebrated in Mooloolaba, providing a unique opportunity for collectors to acquire rare paintings and raise funds for breast cancer research.
A collection of 40 of the late Pro’s works, including many from his private collection, are being exhibited at the gallery of his son, David Hart.
Included is the rare “War Talk” – part of his most significant series on the fighting at Gallipoli.
David said recreating the sounds and smells of the battlefield inspired his father to create his powerful Gallipoli paintings.
Pro had access to explosives gear from the mine where he worked and was an active member of the local gun club.
“Dad would let off shots of gunpowder while he painted this series as it would help him visualise the scenes,” David said.
“He really immersed himself in his art.”
“War Talk” has a price tag of $95,000 and David said that to his knowledge, it was the only piece of the collection available for purchase.
It is an unusual representation of a battle scene with masked characters, with their nasty eyes and teeth, representing the generals and commanders who sent men off to war but rarely faced the horror themselves.
A large number of the artworks on display will be readily recognisable – even though they have not seen the light of day for almost four decades – as they are original pieces which feature in classic Australian books including Poems by Banjo Patterson.
“These paintings have been sitting in storage for a lifetime, now they’re getting a new lease of life,” David said.
While art lovers will be out in force to grab one of Pro’s pieces, the economic climate is expected to attract investors looking for something more attractive than the stock market.
“Australian art doesn’t go backwards,” David said.
“Australian art continues to rise, unlike shares and property which go up and down like a yo-yo.”
“In recent times Dad’s artwork has enjoyed a very good increase.
“Where are you going to get another one?”
Pro’s paintings became more in demand than usual after his death in 2006 and David said the continuing demand had pushed prices up.
“There’s not a great deal left out in Broken Hill.”
Art enthusiasts can view the exhibition until November 2 at David Hart Galleries in Mooloolaba.