‘Artist Through Nature’

Neil Kilby

2-8 July 2014


  • Is art in nature or nature in art? A question which has undoubtedly been asked on numerous occasions over the years. Does art need to be taught or is it a skill we inherit?


  • I was born in Birmingham on the 13th of February, 1952. From the age of seven, I would watch my dad sketch faces on the margins of our local paper, The Birmingham Evening Mail. I believe I inherited his ability to draw. I remember drawing and painting whenever I got the chance. Unfortunately, I never followed it up, although I did attend evening classes after leaving school, to try to learn more about art.


  • On leaving school, I went to work in a market garden / nursery, then followed this with a couple of years at Edgbaston Botanical Gardens. I also worked as a wedding ring maker in the Birmingham jewellery quarter, later on as a printer, before eventually, aged 23, finding something more artistic and training to be a sign-writer with a company in Birmingham city centre. I realised that my new job of sign-writing enabled me to express myself freely and it encouraged me to spend more of my spare time painting.


  • Following the death of my wife in 2002 from pancreatic cancer, I gave up sign-writing and decided to go to France, becoming inspired by the beautiful surroundings, comprising a carp-filled lake and an oak forest in a quiet, undiscovered part of the Dordogne.


  • In France, I concentrated on painting, but, whilst looking after the forest, I discovered the possibilities of working with the wood. I realised that, in my work, there was a need to capture the feelings and emotions that spread over my life.


  • I explored the possibilities of extending a piece of art outwards, reaching out to be touched, to have the painting discovered in its texture.


  • I hope my work reflects my feelings about what I love about the human form and all things in nature.



Open daily 10am – 5pm

Entry Free

[AFG_gallery id=’115′]


What’s Next?

  • Maintenance The east turret is in need of repair to prevent rain leaking in when the wind is in the ‘wrong’ direction. We hope to get this done during gallery downtime.
  • Hire Dates for 2022 The release of dates for hiring the gallery in 2022 is under review pending the availability of dates for events in the gardens.
  • New gallery layout

    What do you think of the new gallery layout?

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