The Kelliher Art Prize

When I was young The Kelliher Art Prize was the big one in the art world of New Zealand.
It dominated and in some ways shaped the art scene, the work that was accepted always had a particular look to it.

I became familiar with many of the paintings (it was always paintings) that won prizes because Sir Henry Kelliher was a beer baron and the winners works were alway reproduced in calendars etc to be distributed in the hotels that he controlled. At that time my parents ran some of these hotels.

Now that I am living in Central Otago I am once again reminded of these works because many of them, in their pictorial approach, dealt with the same landscapes that I now see every day. I even find my camera being drawn to exactly the same sights. This is slightly difficult for me as this work has become so unfashionable.

I have lately been having another look at some of these paintings, here are a couple by Douglas Badcock b.1922. I can’t help feeling that there is something going on in these even though I don’t think that I would want one on my wall. Perhaps I am wrong in this. These two were recently for sale in a recent auction for less than I imagine they originally sold for.