Jonathan grew up in London where he was born in 1954. He inherited many of his artistic leanings from his father, a graphic illustrator specialising in sporting art.
He believes his first sculpture was a hippopotamus made in papier-mache at the age of ten.
After having survived the academic pressures of school and university life, his precocious early talent burst into flames in his mid-twenties through a lifelong passion for horses. He had his first one-man exhibition in London and in 1987 dedicated to “The Racehorse”; following that exhibition he had an increasing demand for his studio bronzes from all over the world.
At the same time he was also engaged on several public commissions. His sculpture of the fantastic “Dawn Run” at Cheltenham racecourse and of “Music Boy” at Cheveley Park Stud in Newmarket are perfect examples of the artist’s potential in that field.
Jonathan lived in the country and an appreciation of nature was perhaps the shift of focus to the study of animals and birds, observation of form and movement – the quest to capture the essential spirit of the animal which sets his work apart from the majority of “wildlife art” – fluid, tactile images with warmth and soul; the characteristic life spark of animals and birds captured and held in bronze. They are unsentimental yet still they breathe emotion. Touch the domed heads of the owls, the badger’s curved back, the down-turned bills of the curlews and you will feel that they might walk away from you.
Each sculpture is cast in editions of nine or twelve bronzes yet each is unique by virtue of the originality of its patination. Through the potentially destructive forces of fire and acid, Jonathan produces a patination which invigorates the bronzes with warmth and energy.
Unsurprisingly, Jonathan Knight’s work now features in private collections throughout the world – notably in that of H.M. The Queen of England who chose a pair of curlews for her private collection.