My ART | Artist: Jack Hadley

Artist: Jack Hadley

Artist: Jack Hadley

What do you do?

I make stuff and work as an art educator. My art practice is erratic. I jump between making quite delicate works that draw upon decorative art traditions and crude motorised sculptures.

Recently, I have also been making jewellery. I am part of the HANDSHAKE contemporary jewellery programme, where I am mentored by the superstar Karl Fritsch. Karl’s great. He taught me his technique of setting stones and doesn’t mind that I totally rip him off.

What could you imagine doing if you didn’t do what you do?

I would like to be a milliner. That’s the pretentious name for someone who makes hats. If I was a milliner, my hats would not be frilly with feathers and tulle. They would be made from aluminium and rubber. I’d like to make a hat for a royal wedding.

The first artwork that made an impact on you?

I have a strong memory from primary school of going on a trip to the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū and seeing Gerrit Dou’s The Physician,1653. I remember being amazed by how the technique of oil on copper made this painting luminous. Also, I was delighted by the covert symbolism that suggested that this was a painting of a pregnancy test. I think, in some small way, this school trip played a part in me coming to work in art education.

Who is your ideal studio buddy?

Someone who is tolerant of my mess. I am not patient or methodical. I make with frenetic urgency and absolutely trash my studio. Maybe my ideal studio buddy is a pedigree cat, lazy and of minimal intelligence. I have recently moved into the best studio I have ever had. It is above a kindergarten and has huge windows. It is filled with sunlight and the noises of children playing.

September 2021.


Image: Jack with his Grandmother (Elizabeth)

Photo credit: Meg Porteous