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How I Became Smoky

HOW I BECAME SMOKY

Accession ID:

2016.3

Name:

How I Became Smoky

Category:

Item

Type:

ArtWork

Maker:

Pro Hart

Date:

1985

Description

This is one of eleven oil on board paintings specially created by Pro Hart to illustrate Smoky Dawson's 1985 autobiography 'Smoky Dawson A Life'. They were displayed at Ray Walsh House in 2012 in an exhibition titled ‘Painting a Song’. The following note by Max Ellis explains how the painting relates to a particular incident in Smoky’s eventful life story. PICTURE 1: 'How I became Smoky'. Smoky, born in Collingwood in 1913, had a difficult childhood, including several years in an orphanage after his mother died and his father was plagued with war induced depression. There were two miracles the boys at Smoky’s orphanage dreamed of. One was to find a real parents and the other was to spend Christmas holidays with one of the families that supported the institution. Herbie spent three holidays on a dairy farm near Colac in south-western Victoria. It was a hard life but he loved it especially as the Carew family were so generous and loving. Music and bush poetry was always a part of his holidays and some of the songs he learnt there, he was to sing around the world in years to come. Later when he was just 13 years, working on the farm, a disastrous experiment with an old pipe gave Herbie Dawson the nickname, which became his famous trademark.


History

Country Music Collection, Tamworth Regional Gallery.


Significance

Provenance: Donated through the Federal Government's Cultural Gifts Program. This painting is one of eleven that were specially created by Pro Hart to illustrate Smoky Dawson's 1985 autobiography 'Smoky Dawson A Life' and held in a private collection until being donated to Tamworth Regional Gallery in 2016.


Associated Subjects