Family has creativity to burn

Artist David Hart with his children Jake (rear), Chloe and Harry.
Artist David Hart with his children Jake (rear), Chloe and Harry. John McCutcheon

AFTER chatting with five members of the Hart family, there's no longer any doubt in my mind that genetics plays a role in the world of art.

This was clear in 2010 when 11-year-old Harry starred in a television carpet commercial, just as his celebrated grandfather Pro did in 1988, recreating the family's trademark dragonfly.

But for Harry, now 13, it didn't end there.

He was commissioned to paint dragonflies, and the commercial was re-released on TV last month.

Harry said he felt it was important to keep painting the insects, because it "kind of runs in the family".

While the Suncoast Christian College student admitted he wasn't entirely sure what he wants to be (to be fair, he's in Year 7), he is oriented toward design.

"I like making and designing things," he said.

"I'm thinking about being an architect."

On the other hand, 17-year-old Chloe knows with certainty she wants to pursue painting - alongside creative writing.

Chloe, whose art is on display in her father David's Mooloolaba gallery, said she loved to write, and would like to study creative writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast next year.

She also said growing up in an artistic family had had a great influence on her outlook.

"I'm surrounded by art 24/7, and that's really had a big impact on how I view art," Chloe said.

"I guess being around it, I couldn't really be anything other than creative.

"Having the genetics and the name has helped massively. I believe painting is a skill that comes from within and not necessarily something that can be taught."

Chloe's work was recently put on display in the USC art gallery, in addition to featuring in Women's Weekly, Profile and Girlfriend magazines.

She said the experiences had made her feel very proud to be a Hart.

"I personally thought I'd never achieve anything that big.

"It really reaffirmed my belief that I can do stuff like this. I do have talent as an artist."

Not all the Harts are as visually driven, though.

While he might be a graphic designer at iApps during business hours, 20-year-old Jake enjoys the music scene.

He plays the keyboard, like his mum, Christine.

Earlier this year, Jake played to crowds of up to 8000 people in the Philippines with Brisbane band Citipointe Live.

"Mum and Dad are pretty stoked," Jake said.

Of being raised in an environment splattered with paint, Jake said it had inspired him a lot.

"(David and Pro) didn't do it for success; they did it because they love it," he said.

"I suppose art and music in general - we try to get stuff across.

"I see it as a privilege to be a part of a creative family. Creativity in general is such a privilege."

You could easily be forgiven at this point, for thinking that Harry, Chloe and Jake were stealing the show.

But David is still very much in the spotlight, having completed a painting for the London Olympic Games.

"The whole thing just sounded really exciting to me, so I said 'yeah, no worries at all'."

The 6x2.4m painting now hangs in the Australian Olympic Committee's art collection.

On top of this, he was asked by Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk to join him on a trade delegation mission next month to Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong to help build relationships with senior government officials for future business opportunities.

David said it was a great opportunity to do business, and through it he hoped to show his art to the rest of the world.

"We use the local ports here and that keeps the jobs happening," David said

"We're also looking to expand, to reach into other economies other than just Australia.

"We want to keep Sunshine Coast as our base. We have our home here, but we'd like to see it extended."

On the matter of family, David just said he wanted to see everyone happy.

"I create opportunities for my kids to be creative, like my dad did," he said.

"There are a lot of people out there doing things they don't love, just because they have to."

Obviously, the Harts don't.


Chloe Hart’s paintings have already attracted interest and she is hoping to combine that with a writing career.
Chloe Hart’s paintings have already attracted interest and she is hoping to combine that with a writing career.

Topics:  art artist

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