ABOUT THE ARTIST

Gary Hodges is passionate about animals and this clearly shines through his intricate and personal drawings. It shows in his every day life, whether in befriending a dog on the street, stroking rescued wolves, touching a wild grey whale or cradling an orphaned orang-utan. It is also transparent in his commitment to helping preserve wildlife.

Throughout his career he has actively supported charities that have captured his imagination and touched his heart, such as Greenpeace. His first major solo exhibition in the Mall Galleries raised £90,000 for The Born Free Foundation and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), 100% of all sales. "I can’t imagine making a living from drawing wildlife and not giving something back” says Gary, almost apologetically. So far he has raised well over half a million pounds for wildlife from the sale of his originals and limited edition prints.








Left: GARY WITH ORPHANED ELEPHANT IN KENYA

Right: GARY WITH RESCUED FOX AND BADGER AT WILDLIFE AID, UK

He has been drawing animals full time for twenty years. Unbelievably, print publishers initially rejected the idea of pencil drawings, caught in the myth that the public would only buy colour. Fortunately Greenpeace disagreed and published his first limited edition prints in 1987. The two editions of 850 copies at £8.50 each print completely sold out and have been in such demand that they have sold on the secondary market for as much as £3,500. Since then Gary has become one of the world's most successful and best loved wildlife artists, publishing his own work, selling over 105,000 personally signed and numbered prints from 124 limited editions (113 sold out).

Part of Gary's appeal is his love of animals, his personal attachment to his drawings and the people who buy them. He makes many public appearances and has deliberately aimed his art at a wide range of collectors rather than focusing on an elite. His passion for wildlife and wild places has taken him to many parts of the world on research trips, including Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania, Portugal, Nepal and Australia. As a result we are rewarded with his extraordinarily intimate drawings of African and Asian elephants, tigers, lions, orang-utans, wolves, lemurs, snow leopard, jaguar and so many more. He gains additional inspiration from his wonderful home in the pine-clad hills of Ibiza.

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SNOW LEOPARD 1993 PENCIL DRAWING

Born in 1954 in south London, UK, he displayed an early interest in art which gained him school qualifications, but he left at the age of 16 and entered the printing industry. His style and highly developed artistic techniques are essentially self-taught. The regimented world of printing presses and paste-up rooms were not for Gary and for many years in the 1980s he worked with children, running and building an adventure playground at Elephant and Castle, a deprived area of London at that time.

Over the years Gary's drawings have also given pleasure to many celebrities including Martina Navratilova, Michaela Strachan, Nigel Marven, Sally Gunnell and Rula Lenska. He has exhibited countless times and his work has reached record prices at the famous Christies auction house. It is also held in collections including the Nature in Art Museum in Gloucester, UK and the Government Art Collection (UK). His artistry has been the subject of three film documentaries, two televised. He has received many awards from his peers and his art was voted the "Visitors' Choice" at the Society of Wildlife Artists' Exhibition 2007, London, out of over 400 exhibits.

In the last year Gary has shown his determination to push his own limits. In late 2009 he accepted the task of decorating a five-foot fibre-glass elephant in aid of the Born Free Foundation. As one of the London Elephant Parade elephants Tattoo - Born to be Wild raised £12,500 at auction.

Since then he has spent time in Australia  researching new drawings and returned to release a new book Drawn to the Soul, published to coincide with a major retrospective exhibition of his work at Nature in Art.

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"An artist who understands"

Virginia

Virginia McKenna, Actress and Co-founder of the Born Free Foundation


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“If ever art was poetry, this is poetry.”

 JennySeagrove

Jenny Seagrove, Actress and Conservationist

more detailed biography


 


                                                    All images on this website © Gary Hodges 2013 unless otherwise stated.
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