Basil Hadley: Over Under the Trees
Basil Hadley: Over Under the Trees and Nullabor Edge
Basil Hadley was born in London on the 6th May 1940. He studied at the Ealing College of Art between 1957 and 1958. After immigrating to Australia, Hadley studied print-making at the Prahran College of Advanced Education, Melbourne; completing his studies in 1973. According to Alan and Susan McColloch, Hadley followed two specific styles- figurative and non-figurative (landscapes). From 1975 to 2007,when Hadley passed away, he worked in his home studio in Stepney, Adelaide.
From the early 1970s to the late 1980s, Basil Hadley was particularly active. He held solo exhibitions at the Max Adams Gallery, Adelaide, Toorak Art Gallery between 1971 and 1976; Macquarie and Anne Simmons Galleries in Canberra, Perth and Freemantle. His work was also exhibited internationally in New Zealand in 1975. Hadley won the Wynne Prize for Art in 1972 for the Great Australian Glow and numerous other prizes from 1971 to 1989. Hadley's works are represented in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria and the Queensland Art Gallery. His works are also represented in any corporate collections including Qantas, AMP and BHP Billiton.
The Works of Art
Basil Hadley's art is represented in the University of Canberra's Art Collection with two landscapes. Over Under the Trees is a very bright landscape painted oil on canvas in 1971 that depicts ripe fields of wheat stretching back to the horizon, up-hill where there is a faint line of trees. A small fence marks the boundary between the foreground and the background provides some scale to the composition. Hadley's brush techniques provide a sense of illusion of individual wheat stalks. According to Geoffrey de Groen in his article, styled in the Outback tradition, Hadley's style is of a tradition where almost every branch, leave and blade of grass is depicted. This obsessiveness to detail leaves an eerie sense of stillness and calm. Nullabor Edge contrasts Over Under the Trees in the sense of types of landscapes. Whereas Over Under the Trees seems bright and full of life, Nullabor Edge is the opposite. The sky is dark and the landscape is a little bleak. The remains of a broken fence dominates the foreground whilst scrub like bushes populate the landscape stretching into the far distance. Both landscapes portray a strong sense of realism that one could almost enter.
Alan & Susan McColloch, The Encyclopedia of Australian Art, Allen and Unwin 1994, p316
Geoffrey de Goen, 'Styled in the Outback Tradition, Accessed through Trove,
Australian Art Sales Digest, https://www.aasd.com.au/index.cfm/artist/?concat=HadleyBasil
Invaluable Art website: https://www.invaluable.com/artist/hadley-basil-otpk3gfpcw/sold-at-auction-prices/