David Hart Series
Our Secret War
Our Secret War is perhaps David’s most acclaimed series to date. Taking more than eight years to create, the series is also accompanied by a book that David has authored. It is his hope that through his book and series of paintings, he can take his viewers on a journey of discovery through Australia’s colonial history; that for David has been a journey of personal discovery. What he has learned about Australia’s colonial past, has not only shocked him, but has also greatly impacted the way he now views the indigenous people of Australia, their character, and their culture.
David finds painting beach scenes and seascapes to be among his most enjoyable and relaxing forms of expression. Living and working alongside some of Australia’s most famous beaches, has been a driving force behind his inspiration. His images of Australian beach life are portrayed in a very impressionistic style. Beginning with a hand sketch onto canvas, he then completes his scene in acrylic paint. After setting the work aside to dry for a day or two, he then begins to paint layer upon layer of luxurious oil colours, lavishly and thickly applied by pallet knife, while at the same time, allowing areas of the original under work to show through. Each image seeks to draw the viewer’s attention to an expansive depth; random knife strokes, scratches and seeming insignificant blobs of paint suddenly become objects and people who appear to be engaged in all manner of activities. David’s beach scenes are both romantic and realistic observations of life at the beach.
The Outback Series
The Outback Series was really where David Hart’s career first began. He finds that the best medium to express his love for storytelling, and passion for Australian history and folklore, is with the earthy tones of a paintbrush and oils, or the rich colours of gauche that’s been washed and scrumbled over thickly textured watercolour paper.
Inspired by Australian wild flowers, David’s Flower series has become a loving evolution over many years. As he freely experiments with colour and new methods of application, his flower images have taken on ever-evolving textures. David experiments with a wide variety of painting implements, like large broad paint brushes, paint tubes drilled with holes, pallet knives and house hold scrubbing brushes. These paintings are not your typical still-lives either; being thickly laden with paint that seems to struggle to hold itself to the canvas, allows his images to create a sense of energy and movement that’s almost hypnotic, yet, at the same time, gives the viewer a sense of tranquilly and stimulation.
Bogart – Black Dog Series
David’s Black Dog series is perhaps the most iconic and highly collected of all of his series. Although these works are highly sort after, they are few and far between, and it’s with good reason once you understand the process behind their creation. The iconic black dog that you see in many of David’s works depicts Bogart, his childhood pet. Bogart was a true companion and close friend to David throughout his youth – smart, watchful, protective and ever present, Bogart lives on as the feature character of this sensational series.
The Velocity Series
David’s Velocity series was born out of inspiration he had while studying areas of his studio floor. Noticing that paint had been inadvertently dropped and splashed from waist height as he worked at his easel, he could see that the paint had left interesting patterns on the floor. Intrigued by his discovery, David decided to experiment by preparing a canvas to receive paint, applied by various techniques such as dropping it from ladders and even using his bare hands. It was glass balls filled with paint, however, that eventually gave him the effect he was looking for. The end result was beautiful, and the following weeks of experimentation and refinement led to the creation of what is now known as the the Velocity series.
David’s Inspiration series is truly an extension of his vibrant and passionate personality. Developed through the creation of the original Inspiration Mural that was painted for the London Olympic Games as part of the Telstra Hero Message campaign. These works explore the concept that what looks like chaos in the paint can actually be manipulated, and controlled with a certain degree of accuracy. In this series, colour spills and explodes across the canvas like an expression of energy revealing a beauty that can only be found within chaos. Needing to deliver huge volumes of paint to the canvas has driven David to discover and develop many new techniques that have enabled him to create this stunning series of work. The Inspiration series has been so successful from its inception, that it was soon picked up and licenced by Australia’s largest homewares company, Maxwell and Williams, who have since created an entire range based around the series that has now been sold worldwide.
Dragonfly and Ants Series
The Dragonfly and Ant series came about as the result of a promise that David made to his father, Pro, to keep his secret techniques and styles alive after he passed away.
David’s father was also an artist who had a fascination with insects. Pro’s portrayal of insects, ants, and dragonflies in particular, extended from the joyous to the macabre both in paintings and sculpture. Growing up on a sheep sheering property in the outback of central NSW, influenced Pro’s work significantly. It was Pro’s fascination that also fostered David’s interest in dragonflies and ants as well. As a child, David would spend hours drawing these now iconic images in sketch books and watching his father paint and draw. Unfortunately, Pro passed away at his home in Broken Hill, NSW, in March 2006 from Motor Neurone Disease. Briefly, before Pro Hart’s passing, David made a promise to his father that he would keep his secret techniques and styles alive after his death; this promise has pushed David to further develop the series into his own expression.
The Christ Series
David says: “A Great painting is like the revealing of an artist’s lifetime; when you look at a painting you are looking at years of experimentation, mistakes, frustrations, failures and success. My paintings are not merely images, they are shared pieces of my heart and soul.”
David is proud of his Christian faith, and his parents were equally proud of their Christianity, and raised their children on the foundation that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
The Colony Series
The Colony series is a follow on concept from the ‘Our Secret War series’. Based around Australia’s first colony and the explorations and adventures of the people who arrived in the first fleet that was situated in and around the Sydney Cove area of Australia. With these paintings, David shifts his focus towards various individuals and characters of the First Fleet as he explores their adaption to Australia’s harsh conditions, along with their interactions with each other, the landscape, and with the indigenous people who lived there. David is also concerned with the way in which the colony eventually grew to become a nation, and the moments of those early colonial years that were part of that process, such as those people who were brave enough to explore the dangerous and unforgiving vastness of the Australian landscape.
The exposure series was born out of David’s Inspiration series, intrigued with the concept of being able to dual reverse black and white layering, David wanted to create work that was cut back to its simplest form. The Introduction of metallic paint in this series was a way of David paying tribute to his childhood hero and mentor, Jackson Pollock.