Craigweil House commemorates late ‘Helensvillian’ artist, Chris Bailey

Craigweil House is having plaques made to commemorate the
life and art of Helensville artist, Chris Bailey. A creative and kind
man, Chris used to read his poetry to residents living at Craigweil
House in Memory Care. Chris was born on the 16th of July 1941 in
England and lived a full and interesting life. After Chris passed
away in 2018, his wife Barbara Bailey contacted Craigweil House
to ask if they would like to obtain a selection of his oil paintings,
then hanging in her and Chris’s Helensville home. Craigweil
House’s facility manager, David Halewood, met with Barbara and
chose four of the paintings chronicling Chris’s life story. She
explained to David that each painting represents a unique period
of Chris’s life. Plaques detailing these periods are being made to
be placed under each painting displayed at Craigweil House,
located on Parkhurst Road, opposite the Parakai pools.



At Durham university Chris read Modern Languages - French and Spanish. His first lodgings were with Mrs Jolly, a small Durham woman who Chris said he could never see when she entered his room as the bed was so high and she was so short. Mrs Jolly’s terraced house was under the Viaduct and it continually rumbled with trains puffing through on the main London/Edinburgh line. Chris said that he could never understand what Mrs. Jolly said as her accent was a thick Durham one.


Moon Landing

In Los Angeles Chris lived on Cove Avenue in a house that was full of character, wooden beams, open fire and views that overlooked the city. The house was on a hill-side. It was a climb down to the road and up to the back where the old V-dub was parked. The house had an enormous rubber tree growing through its back deck. On the night of the Moon Landing Chris and his wife, Barbara hooked the TV up under the tree and watched the news from their loungers. The picture shows Chris walking away from the house, up the hill towards the car park.


Boys By The Sea

Chris Bailey was born in Surbiton, Surrey, England and spent his childhood in Bognor Regis. He had happy memories of his time in Bognor, of hours spent playing on the beach.Chris went to prep- school in Bognor and this painting shows him with his two school friends, Ellis Korn and Harris doing what they were told not to do - running under the waves breaking on the promenade and getting soaking wet.


South of France

As part of The Modern Languages Course at Durham University, Chris Bailey lived for a year in Draguignan, France. During that time he taught English at the local high
school. This painting shows his apartment, with its red carpet, black settee, flowers, the door to the balcony and the sea beyond. Chris is sitting at his desk reading a newspaper. There is a small radio on the desk. An open book is on the settee where he has been lying and reading. Mademoiselle Cat, his landlady, is entering his room with a letter from England in her hand. During that time, Barbara, his future wife and Chris, wrote letters to each other every day.

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