Antony Rhodes, Wildlife Artist and Lecturer

Antony Rhodes, Wildlife Artist and Lecturer

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Antony Rhodes B.A.(Hons.)

Barn OwlBorn in Batley in 1959, Antony spent his formative years growing up in the wonderfully varied Yorkshire countryside, his interest in nature encouraged from an early age. A wide variety of wild waifs and strays added to a growing collection of ever more exotic pets, providing early inspiration for adolescent drawings. A Barn Owl was Antony's first introduction to birds of prey, and then, aged sixteen, his training of a Kestrel was the start of the love affair with the sport of falconry. At seventeen Antony completed a foundation course at Batley Art College, before embarking on formal training at Manchester Polytechnic, though the lure of the outdoors caused many a clash with the college authorities!

After completing his degree, Antony began his career as a freelance artist in 1981, specialising in wildlife and countryside subjects. With his infectious enthusiasm and natural ability as a raconteur, Antony's popularity on the lecture and talks circuits soon attracted the attention of the media and many T.V., newspaper and magazine appearances followed.

Peregrine FalconThroughout the eighties Antony acquired an international reputation for high quality artwork, leading to prestigious commissions from around the world. In 1992 he provided illustrations for 'Falconry Art & Practice', the first of several books by Emma Ford. This collaboration between Antony and Emma resulted in two high quality volumes, 'Peregrine' and 'Gyr Falcon' setting a standard seldom matched in modern publishing. The Times book review was moved to print the following:- 'Peregrine is not just, or even primarily, a falconry book. It is a thoughtful and coherent celebration of the bird: wild, captive, ancient, modern and future. Its text, paintings and photographs all bear the one hallmark that matters, the one Gyr Falconwhich signifies the marriage of countless hours in the field with the pursuit of excellence and an undisguised passion for the subject. They have pooled their expertise and have produced one of the most beautiful bird books you are likely to see.'

By 1998 Antony had illustrated six books, and his ever growing profile attracted the attention of Barbour clothing, who invited him to feature in a national advertising campaign.

African Black EagleAlthough falconry began as a hobby, it soon became apparent that the birds made ideal models for painting demonstrations and talks, and now some of them are equally, if not better know than Antony! The 'star' is undoubtedly 'Macon', his African Black Eagle with a wingspan of nearly seven feet! He is spectacularly beautiful with an unusually easy going nature, though not as laid back as 'Larry', Antony's Harris' Hawk - a veteran of personal appearances. Also featuring in Antony's adventures are various owls and falcons specially trained to work with the public.

Antony also visits special schools and works in conjunction with social services to offer a therapeutic and educational service. Animals and Art can be used as therapy to instill confidence and build self esteem in people with disabilities and learning difficulties.

Wildlife Artist

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