James Tomlinson tells us about his wildlife-inspired art | Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

James Tomlinson tells us about his wildlife-inspired art

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021

James Tomlinson tells us about his wildlife-inspired art
James Tomlinson

Tell us about your work for the upcoming Locals exhibition 

Having learnt art through the medium of graffiti, I mixed my passion for birds and my graffiti together and called these 'Feral Paintings'. 

After a while I felt I was going backwards rather than forward. I usually paint from my photos, but decided instead to go out and sketch the birds I was seeing daily at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and then paint them back in the studio from memory and my notes.

What technique do you use?

I use golden acrylics, applied very heavily at times, and sometimes spray paint, brushes, scrapers and combs to give texture. I love texture - it makes it feel real.

Jame T bruno hare

Bruno the Hare

What are you saying with your images?

Go out there see what makes and creates us. There are too many screens in life (phones, computers and TVs). Rye Harbour Nature Reserve changes on a daily basis. There are storylines forever unfolding, Making a connection with the wild is easy, and learning is the fun part. Whether you learn through art, a cameras or books - it's such an achievement. Never be scared to ask people what something is.

How are you finding the Discovery Centre?

I've sampled some cakes etc. Leah [cafĂ© manager] and the team have put in some hard work in difficult times and it's paid off. Great handmade snacks and good coffee. And the view is incredible. 

I think it's a great place for [Reserve Manager] Barry Yates' team to be based, in order to carry out the constant land management tasks that the reserve needs to support its rare wildlife. 

The information boards, photos and videos and history timelines really help give people an insight to the reserve, now and before. The Discovery Centre team, led by Liz, bring a fresh enthusiasm and good vision of how the centre will evolve and move forward. Exciting times for the reserve.

James is a regular 'Guide in the Hide' volunteer at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. He is kindly donating 20% of all sales from this exhibition to support education activities at Rye Harbour Discovery Centre  

More about his exhibition, 'Locals' - 21 August - 22 September, Ryebank Gallery, 11A High Street, Rye 10.30-5.30pm daily, closed Thursdays. 

More about James here

James t2


This post is also available on Sussex Wildlife Trust website

Sign up for your newsletter


Keep up to date with the latest developments.

We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage, to improve your browsing experience and show personalised content. You are free to manage this via your browser settings at any time. To learn more about how we use the cookies, please see our cookies policy.