Generations of talent – it’s an art

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The work of three generations of Badcocks, the late Douglas, son John, and his daughter, Susan, is on display at Susan’s studio in Geraldine.

All have different styles.

Douglas was Queenstown’s first full-time artist who specialised in landscapes.

He had his first exhibition in Wellington and it sold out in two days.

John has been a professional artist for three decades and been the subject of two New Zealand art films, and many times a finalist in the New Zealand portrait awards.

Susan, who has had her gallery in Geraldine for three years, specialises in photography and hand colouring.

The studio is at the rear of the Old Post Office building in Talbot Street.

It is both a workshop and gallery, featuring a selection of her fine hand-coloured works, those of father John and, now, some works by her grandfather, Douglas.

Susan said it was about the process, from photographing something “and you start to see the start of the outcome”.

Says father John: “It separates it from the mass-produced photos of today.”

John said his father started as a photographer – an aerial photographer – who settled in Queenstown and became a plein air painter.

John said the family had decided to make a selection of his works available for sale.

“It shows the provenance of his work; you need that history.”

John’s grandmother also painted, his brothers Brian and David are also painters.

Says Susan of her work: “It was just natural (being an artist).”

John: “When we were young, we went out and cleaned his (dad’s) brushes.”

Susan: “We went on more painting trips. I was always interested in art.”

John said his father never had a studio.

“I had a studio in town (Geraldine) and Susan used to come down to do life drawings. That was where my main concentration was in those days.”

Susan’s studio will feature an exhibition of John’s work in spring – an exhibition he is saying little about now – and the studio also features the leather Deadly Ponies leather bags created by her brother in Auckland.

Susan said she often sought her father’s opinion on her work, and John says “we are a family of critics”.