Jonathan Pointer: British game birds
Jonathan Cooper, Park Walk Gallery is pleased to announce ‘British Game Birds’, a new exhibition of oil paintings by Wildlife & Sporting Artist Jonathan Pointer. In his new exhibition Pointer depicts a wide range of British game birds including grouse, woodcock and pheasant.
Pointer’s inspiration for the exhibition comes from a lifetime spent in the countryside and a strong affinity with its wildlife, land and sporting traditions. For him game birds are amongst the most interesting of wild subjects. No other animal has played such a role in shaping the wild places of the British Isles; from the man-made heather moors in the uplands of northern England, Scotland and Wales, to the keepered woods and coverts of the lowlands. He is similarly drawn to the technical challenge involved in capturing the varied plumage and shapes of these birds, be it the vibrant reds and ochre’s of a cock pheasant, the blue/black of the male black grouse or the cryptic leaf-litter camouflage of the woodcock.
His subjects have been researched from a great variety of sources; the pheasant and partridge can be found close to his Berkshire home, whilst researching the red grouse required field trips to Yorkshire, Northumbria and Cumbria. Capturing the rare black grouse involved early morning visits to their lekking sites in northern England and a trip to Bavaria.
The bird’s habitat is also an integral part of Pointer’s work, every facet of nature is represented; flowers and plants depict the changing season in intimate study, whilst dramatic landscapes place the bird within the broader environment.
Pointer has a traditional approach to art. Rich oil paints are applied first in thick strokes followed by thinner glazes of increasing intricacy. Small brushes are used to create the painterly details of leaf litter, tangled grasses and luxurious vegetation that is becoming a trademark of his style. Due to the finesse of his process, his larger works can take up to four months of labour to create. Pointer’s work, however, is infused with more than a desire simply to accurately recreate his subject:
“Whilst I try to work as faithfully as possible to nature, I still remember I am an artist and try hard to include elements of subtle narratives; gems of natural history truths that lift a painting from becoming more than just a well-rendered portrait.”
Pointer’s artistic influences stem largely from Pre Raphaelites such as Millais and Holman Hunt, with their Ruskinian dedication to nature, as well as the great Victorian Sporting artists Landseer and Thorburn. This is his second solo exhibition since his inaugural sell-out exhibition “British Wildlife” in 2005.
20 May - 5 June 2010
Private View: 19 May 12 - 8.00pm.