Tony Pridham

Internationally acclaimed – Tony Pridham

World Renowned Bird Artist – His paintings recognised for their exceptional quality and accuracy.

Tony is recognised internationally as the foremost living bird artist in Australia.

His paintings are purchased by collectors around the world.

 As the grandnephew of Sidney Nolan, Tony hails from Australian art royalty. Tony’s precocious talent was evident from an early age: with his first attempt, aged 19, he won Best Painting at the prestigious Wildlife Art Society of Australia awards. An artist of extraordinary talent, Tony specialises in subjects of the natural world, painted in the traditions of classical realism, although his recent move into Hyperrealism has led to a shift in his painting style.

As an artist, his beliefs are very much informed by the philosophy of the New Realism movement which states that something beautiful, painted beautifully, is a justification in itself.  His paintings aim to inspire and bring a sense of wonder to the viewer.

A keen and knowledgeable naturalist, Tony travels widely searching for new ideas and challenges. His field research has taken him throughout Australia, Europe, USA and Africa. However, Tony’s passion for the Australian bush, its wonderful light and its diverse fauna and flora, keep him travelling throughout this continent. He has a genuine love for and deep knowledge of the birds and animals he paints.

What sets Tony’s work apart is that, unlike most artists, he studies the birds he paints in their natural environment so he can capture the unique attitude and movement of each species.

“Painting birds is one of the greatest challenges for any wildlife artist. There seems to be a never-ending cycle of anguish and triumph, because painting birds is not hard, but painting them well is difficult. I have been putting my artistic endeavours into birds since I was 14 – about 40 years and I never stop learning. While I paint many types of wildlife, birds are where my mastery, (or lack of it) becomes obvious. Birds are the toughest of all wildlife subjects to get right. The real challenge for any wildlife artist is to make the birds seem truly alive; observation is your greatest tool.”

While best known as a bird artist, Tony’s horse portraits and African fauna studies are internationally recognised for their exceptional quality and accuracy. He is a founding member of Artist Ambassadors Against Poaching, a non-profit organisation whose aim is to create awareness of conservation issues through art.

Three months in creation, his recent Hyperrealism painting of an Ecuadorean Hummingbird is finally completed. Over 30 times life size, it is the largest work ‘of the subject,’ and took the longest time Tony has ever committed to a single piece of work.  Using the reference he took at Tandayapa Bird Lodge in the Andes, Tony has created an homage to this beautiful bird.

Tony’s art has been published in a number of Science based natural history books. Most notable are his two latest award-winning publications:

Grassfinches in Australia (2012) and Glimpses of Paradise (2008).

Both books received Whitley Awards for Excellence in Zoological Illustration.

A further book, The Night Parrot: Australia’s Most Elusive Bird (CSIRO Penny Olsen) was released (September 2018).