Biography / Awards / Public Collections / Open Exhibitions / Memberships / Publications / Bibliography / Talks / Solo Exhibitions / Exhibitions
Born in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, Jonathan Sainsbury grew up with close links to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. He studied for a Pre-Diploma at Leamington Spa College of Art, followed by the Byam Shaw School of Art, before working in the Paint Shop of the Theatre and visiting Japan with the Company.
Jonathan read Fine Art at Leeds College of Art, graduating in 1976 with a show that included an experimental ‘man-powered flying suit’, featured in Young Northern Contemporaries Exhibition, 1976.
Jonathan returned to Warwickshire and began painting landscapes, often featuring game and wildlife he observed from life, encountered on walks with his springer spaniels.
William Marler of the William Marler Gallery, Cirencester, recognised the quality of his work and for many years hosted sell-out one-man shows, which attracted critical acclaim from the late Aylmer Tryon, founder of the Tryon Gallery and brought Jonathan to the attention of the Modern British Department atChristie’s, London. Harriet Drummond of Christie’s praised Jonathan’s field work and recommended him as one of just a handful of contemporary wildlife artists with long-term collector’s value
Jonathan travelled in the Far East where he studied rare pheasants in their natural habitats, aided by the World Pheasant Association. He saw in the wild Lewis’ silver pheasants, thought at the time to be on the point of extinction.
Jonathan moved to North Devon in the mid-eighties, then to Perthshire, Scotland at the end of the decade.
When the William Marler Gallery closed in the early nineties, Jonathan began to stage one-man exhibitions in country houses. The first was at Scone Palace, Perthshire, in 1993, followed by Kissing Tree House and Foxcote in Warwickshire in 1994 and from 2003 – 2008 at the Long Room at Purdey, Gunmakers, London.
As his work matured, Jonathan successfully submitted it to public exhibitions: those with birds, wildlife or conservation themes and mainstream contemporary art shows.
With wildlife and landscape as his subject-matter, Jonathan was aware that wildlife photography and film-making was posing a challenge to artists. He saw that artists had to use the unique aspects of picture-making such as design, drawing, skill in handling paint, to say what only art could say. This led to his highly-successful Square Series, which won critical acclaim world-wide.
Jonathan was elected a Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists in the United States and a Signature Member of the Artists’ Foundation for Conservation and regularly hangs with those groups as well as in the Society of Wildlife Artists exhibition in London. His work is recognised within Contemporary Scottish art circles where he has exhibited with the Royal Scottish Watercolour Society, the Aberdeen Artists’ Society and the Royal Glasgow Institute.
Jonathan exhibits in a number of contemporary galleries in Scotland and England, including the Brian Sinfield Gallery, Burford; Frames Gallery, Perth; Strathearn Gallery, Crieff; Wykeham Gallery, Stockbridge and Sculpture by the Lakes in Dorset. He has exhibited at the CLA Game Fair for years as a member of the Redspot group and at the Scottish Game Fair. He participates in Perthshire Open Studios.
In 2016, Jonathan created an installation, which he entitled ‘My Ark for Nature’. This combines painting on a theme of conservation, live demonstration and multi-media displays. He built a 6 metre by 3 metre timber stand, looking both like a shed and an ark. He incorporated blank paper panels, on which he drew, in charcoal, during exhibition, using sepia watercolours of British endangered wildlife and habitats which he had prepared beforehand. Around these framed sketches he clustered complementary finished works, so for example, around a Highland landscape, featuring a Scots pine and wildcat, he hung paintings of cross-bills, crested tits, red squirrels.
Bird boxes hung alongside paintings, showing clips of film of songbirds, provided by the Songbird Survival Trust, whose membership literature was displayed. Likewise, literature from the British Dragonfly Society decorated the stand along with Jonathan’s own limited edition postcards. Shelves displayed the working materials from an artist’s studio – primary sources like feathers, lichens, skins – books, poems, as well as brushes, pigments, tools. The stand was displayed first at the BBC Countryfile Live Event 2016 at Blenheim, where hundreds visited, then in Perthshire Open Studios, in St Serf’s church, Comrie, where 200 visitors came over five days, including pupils from Comrie primary school.
In June 2017, ‘My Ark for Nature’ will be displayed in the Lady Chapel at the Scottish Episcopal Church’s Cathedral in Inverness and open to visitors.
Jonathan’s work is displayed in national publications like Country Life and The Field as well as in sporting magazines. His work hangs in public and private collections world-wide.
Jonathan lives in Perthshire, working in a pine-lined studio with a corrugated iron roof.
Maude Gemmell Hutchison Prize, Scottish Royal Academy 1994
British Association for Shooting and Conservation 1992
Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
Nature in Art Museum, Gloucester (loan)
Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire
Crieff Hydro Hotel, Perthshire
Society of Animal Artists, annual exhibition, USA 2017-2010
Artists for Conservation, annual exhibition, Vancouver 2015-12
Aberdeen Artists’ Exhibition 2013-2010
Royal Scottish Society of Watercolours 2012, 2010-2009
Royal Glasgow Institute Open Exhibition 2009
Society of Wildlife Artists, London 2013-2009, 2002, 1991
‘Birds in Art’, Woodson Art Museum, Wisconsin, USA 2016, 2012, 2009, 1997, 1995-1994
Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada 1999-1998
Scottish Royal Academy 1994
Sunday Times/Singer & Friedlander Watercolour Exhibition, London 1990
Young Northern Contemporaries, Manchester 1976
Juried Membership of Art Societies
Artists for Conservation since 2012
Signature Member, Society of Animal Artists, USA since 2009
Birds of Clackmannanshire 2013
Deer – Artists’ Impressions Quiller Books 2013
Square Paintings Jonathan Sainsbury Limited Edition 2011
The Grouse – Artists’ Impressions Swan Hill 2007
The Woodcock – Artists’ Impressions Swan Hill 2006
The Artists’ Game Book 2006
The Fife Bird Atlas 2003
British Country Year Book 1993
Other publications include limited edition Christmas cards for Countryside Alliance, Purdey, Jonathan Sainsbury Fine Artist; colour plates for calendar for The Croft School, Stratford-upon-Avon
Limited Edition prints published by Jonathan Sainsbury Fine Artist; also by The William Marler Gallery, Kemblewood Gallery, Loquens Gallery.
Living Perth and Kinross Spring 2017 https://www.jonathansainsbury.com/living-magazine-article-on-jonathan-sainsbury/
The Field, October 2015 Opening Shots Sporting Artist
The Scottish Field, May 2014
Strathearn Herald May 2013
The Shooting Gazette 2008 To read article see links: JULY SHOOTING GAZETTE P.56-57 JULY SHOOTING GAZETTE P.58-59
The Scottish Sporting Gazette 2007
The Sporting Shooter 2006
The Scottish Field, May 2000
The Courier October 1999
North Devon Journal October 1997
Western Morning News March 1996
The Shooting Times December 1994
Strathearn Herald December 1993
Milwaukee Herald October 1994
The Courier October 1992
The Shooting Gazette Feb/March 1991
The Courier May 1990
The Scottish Field, May 1990
Perthshire Open Studios, St Serf’s Church, Comrie 2013, 2010
Strathearn Arts Society 2013, 2004-2002
Scottish Women’s Rural Institute, 2016, 2015
Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, Devon 1997
Scottish Royal Academy Friends 1994
Nature in Art, Gloucester 1994
Perthshire Open Studios – Inglewood House 2015-14
St Serf’s Church, Comrie – Perthshire Open Studios 2016, 2013
Frames Gallery, Perth 2012
St Serf’s Church, Comrie – ‘Creation’ 2010
Dunkeld Cathedral Art Exhibition ‘Invited artist’ 2008
The Long Room, Purdey, London 2008-2005, 2003
Alveston Pastures, Warwickshire 2003
Scone Palace, Perthshire 1999,1993
‘Man’s Dominion’, Burton Art Gallery, Bideford, Devon 1997
Foxcote House, Warwickshire 1994
Kissing Tree House, Warwickshire 1994
William Marler Gallery, Cirencester 1991 – mid 1980s
Sculpture by the Lakes, Dorset 2015
Wykeham Gallery, Stockbridge, Hampshire 2016, 2014-2012, 2010, 2002
Scottish Arts and Antique Centre, Abernyte, Perthshire 2014
Frames Gallery, Christmas Exhibition 2013–2009
Dunkeld Cathedral Art Exhibition 2013-2002, 1993
Redspot Artists at CLA Game Fair 2014, 2013, 2009-2008, 2006, 2004-2002
Scottish Game Fair 2015-2014, 2008-2007, 2002, 1998
Game & Wildlife Conservancy Trust Scottish Auction 2013-1999
The Strathearn Gallery, Crieff 2011, 2009
Redspot Exhibition, House of Bruar 2007
Anthony Woodd Gallery, Edinburgh 2009-1993
Whitehouse Gallery, Kirkcudbright 2007, 2004
Arndean Gallery, Cork Street, London 2006
Exhibitions in aid of DebRA 2006
Warwickshire Artists, Ettington 2005
Edinburgh Zoo Exhibition 2003
Malcolm Innes, the Tryon Gallery, London 2003-1999
Galerie Marin, Appledore, North Devon 2002-1999
Game Conservancy Ball Exhibition, London 2002-2001
Berkshire Shooting School 2001
McEwan Gallery, Ballatur Summer Exhibiton 1999, 1997-1993
Haddo Hall Exhibition, Aberdeenshire 1997, 1993
Christie’s Preview, Wildlife Auction, National History Museum, London 1996
‘A brush with nature’, Wildlife and Wetlands Trust, Painswick House, Gloucs 1995
Albany Gallery, Swansea 1993
Nature in Art, Gloucester 1992
Wildlife Art Festival, Chambord, France 1992
‘Whaletail’, Nairobi, Kenya 1991