17 Jun 2012
Bicycle art. Frank Hinder
Martin in Canberra wrote asking if I knew the bike art of Frank Hider done of the bike scene in Canberra after the 2nd World War.
I knew this lithograph.
But I had no clue about the other lovely stuff in the Hinder catalogue. Frank Hinder was born in Sydney 1906 and died in 1992.
Here, the image is reversed and in color.
My curiosity was aroused, especially when I found that Hinder was interested on what now fascinates me, the power of the simple line.
When I saw his exploratory drawings, I realized we were on a similar path, him way before me of course
Then, as I went though his catalogue, I realized that that I actually knew someone in one of the drawing, Ewart Collings, and what a great drawing of Ewart it was.
Who’s Ewart Collings nd how do I know him?
He was a friend of my family, and not long ago I found his widow, Betty, living in a Kurringai nursing home. She’s in her 90′s
Ewart was a camouflage artist during the war, helping design covers, drapes nets which would hide planes and guns from eyes in the sky.
Next, I discovered that Frank Hider was a very important camouflage artist too.
Indeed, he designed something called the Hinder spider, a portable covering for guns and aircraft.
I found a photo of the spider in action but so effective was it, that there’s nothing much to see. See what I mean?
More visible, is this dummy aircraft also by Hinder, meant to achieve the opposite, to convince spies in the skies that something is there when it actually isn’t.
Interesting how artist were taken into the war effort, isn’t it?
I know this is getting a long way from Hinder’s bikes. The artist was fascinated by what he called Dynamic Symmetry.
When in Canberra after the war, discovering lots of people on bikes, he went for the symmetry in the action.
I find I’m after exactly the same thing, and am amazed that others don’t see this rhythmic potential of the bike, artistically. I wish I could have talked to Frank.
Then, digging further into Frank’s story, I found perhaps the most important reason for making this discovery. In 1916, Frank was a student at Newington College , a famous Sydney secondary school.
Who was the art teacher there at the time? Antonio Dattilo Rubbo, my Grandfather.
Here’s grandfather in a self portrait.
More on him at Family art stories Rubbo family
But did he teach Frank Hinder?
Undoubtedly, because Frank went on to be his student at a later school grandfather Nonno (what the family called him) ran at the Royal Art Society.
And here’s his brilliant pupil, Frank Hinder.
So, now thanks to Martin in Canberra I’ve got to know Frank Hinder, found the family connection, and go back to my own bike art freshly inspired.
I’ve been experimenting with very simply drawings in Indian ink. This challenging rider is one result.
This, I transferred to this polymer plate, using the sun’s rays.
and then printed this on a nice textured paper.
And if you don’t care for her sullen look, how about this one called, shady departure. First. the plate.
and the solar print from this plate.
My present challenge is to simplify my drawings and make them more decisive.
I rather like this self portrait, a younger me with my electric bike.
But I’ll leave you with some Hinder masterpieces. Bike and non bike.