Artistic icon returns to historic suburb

A HAND-PAINTED map of Battery Point by the late local artist Richard Bacon has been lovingly reproduced and returned to the historic Hobart suburb.

For more than 40 years, Mr Bacon’s pictorial map of Battery Point painted on three panels of particleboard has guided visitors to the area’s places of interest.

After suffering water damage, the painting was put into safe storage in 2018 before being reproduced and unveiled at a ceremony recently with members of Mr Bacon’s family.

It was photographed at high resolution and the images retouched and restored in order to create a digital master.

“Battery Point held a special place in Mr Bacon’s heart and his wonderful map of the area is an important part of Hobart’s history,” Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said.

“It was a privilege to pay tribute to such a highly regarded Hobart artist by unveiling the reproduced sign with Richard’s family in attendance.

“This reproduction means the map will continue to be appreciated by locals and visitors for decades to come.”

Mr Bacon’s daughter, Kirsten Bacon, said the painting, along with many others, was a celebration of her father’s life.

“All of his paintings and work he did is this big body of work that acts a photo album of my parents’ life together and our life as the Bacon family – that’s what is so precious and special about his paintings,” she said.

Richard Bacon was born in London in 1931 and studied at the South-East Essex School of Art.

He served an apprenticeship as a commercial artist in London’s Fleet Street, followed by a four-year term in the Merchant Navy before joining the British Army as a draughtsman.

Mr Bacon migrated to Tasmania in 1966 and began work as a graphic designer for The Mercury before establishing himself as an important local artist.

Specialising in drawing and watercolours of landscapes and buildings, his work is represented in collections locally and internationally.

He made Huon Island his family home and it was there that he passed away in September 2014.

“Tasmania was really lucky to have Richard Bacon live here, as he drew and painted so much of our historic buildings, streetscapes, and the wilderness,” retired Hobart City Council heritage officer Brendan Lennard said.

“He’s one of a special group of artists that opened up the world’s eyes to what we have in Tasmania and made us look at our beautiful island through new eyes.”

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