Birds In Focus – Exhibition Aug 2023

I’m delighted to be returning to 142 Gallery in Felixstowe, Suffolk for a week long exhibition,’Birds In Focus’.
My 2022 exhibition, ‘Chatter and Pandemonium’ was very well received, and this time I will team up with with fellow Suffolk local bird artist M J Wallis.

M J Wallis and Budgerigardener

At first glance we are very different artists: M J Wallis (Molly) creates mezzotints of UK birds using a painstaking and ancient printing method which results in a monochromatic print with an antique feel. My subjects tend towards colourful pets and exotic bird life and are rendered mostly in oil paint. We were drawn together by our love of birds in general and also a desire to highlight the ways in which our favourite creatures are under threat. The exhibition will encourage an awareness of  the stories behind so many species in decline.

The Red List

M J Wallis’s work refers to the UK Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern, collated by the countries leading bird and conservation agencies, such as the RSPB, National Trust and the British Trust for Ornithology. You can read the full report HERE and see the birds whose numbers are in serious decline. You may be as shocked and surprised as I was to see even our most ubiquitous garden birds, such as the house sparrows and starlings I have painted several times, are really struggling.

A female house sparrow – oil painting

Inspired by M J Wallis diligently working her way through a list of 70 birds, I am compiling my own ‘to do’ list of 70 birds; mostly focusing on the birds I am know for: popular pet birds or parrots kept as pets, but I will be including in my list a selection of parrots now classed as endangered or critically endangered species.


One such bird is the kakapo, the flightless, nocturnal New Zealand parrot made famous (or infamous) by Sirocco the kakapo. Sirocco became amusingly over-familiar with a cameraman on the 2009 TV series Last Chance To See.    Kakapo’s are very striking birds, with a whiskery face and large moss coloured body . Though they are not the largest parrots in the world – that honour goes to the Hyacinth Macaw – they are the heaviest. Sirocco is now quite the media celebrity and the official spokesbird for  Kakapo Recovery.

My portrait focuses on the face, once described as ‘old – fashioned, like a Victorian gentleman’. Very accurate, I’d say!

Oil painting of Sirocco the kakapo by Mandy Renton

Other subjects on show will include African grey parrots, and king penguins, red tailed cockatoo; military macaws, carmine bee -eaters, and many more ( plus budgies, of course!)

I hope you can make it along to 142 Gallery in Felixstowe.

Opening hours 10-4 Thur 3rd Aug – Tue 8th and 10 – 1pm Wed 9th Aug.

(Binoculars not required!)

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