My name is Jonathan Parkinson, and I grew up in Sussex England with my sister Dinah Gillian, and parents, Gerald and Sylvia.
Both parents were fine artists, my father ‘professional’ (he did it for a living) but my mother also very talented and she exhibited. The highest exam in art was ‘A’ level, which says nothing - but I have always been involved in ‘creative’ pursuits, writing, photography and illustration. I was in advertising in London for five years, then a photographer in London and South Africa. In 1984 I found myself on a film set in Cape Town, and my passion was ignited. I took one look at the director and thought - I’m going to do that - no question.
I married my wife Debbie Martin in 1985 and started Directing in 1986, and and then opened my own production company, Parkinson productions in 1989, when my first son Oliver was born. Then Arabella in 1990 (www.eattothrive.co.za), and Thomas in 1993 (www.thatfilmguy.org). Three very fine and talented children (although I say it myself!)
I have always ‘dabbled’ with sketching, and the odd watercolour, but nothing serious. It was only when I chatted to Donald Greig (Donald Greig Sculptures) at a party about sculpting, and he suggested that I joined him for a few evenings at his studio, that I realised that this was my medium. I took to sculpting immediately, and loved the magic of watching a three dimensional object come to life in front of my eyes. I found it really gratifying, and realised instinctively that I had that artistic ability of creating something out of nothing.
I cast my early work in the Bronze Age foundry in Simonstown and exhibited there, but with my ‘day job’ of directing TV commercials, my interest was stifled - the distance was too far, and it simply seemed like the timing wasn’t right.
Now some time later, I was recently commissioned to make my largest bronze yet - the ‘standing kudu’, and decided that if I were to start again, then I must do so in ernest, and start a portfolio of limited edition bronzes.
I also realise that in rekindling this passion, I feel that I have evolved, and that my bronzes have more power. That is what I strive for - not the detail, but the character and the movement. If you can look at one of these bronzes and feel the animal behind the cold metal, then I have done what I set out to do.