Cole Stirling was born and raised in Zimbabwe. His passion for the wilds of Africa started at an early age. Some of his earliest memories include waking up for early morning drives in Hwange National Park or sitting for hours at one of the numerous waterholes, to see what came to drink. He was in his element.
Art came as a by-product of this love for nature and a way to express this passion. From childhood, Cole was sketching his favourite animals, trying to replicate pictures from the numerous field guides he had started to collect. At Rhodes University this hobby was honed, when he completed a Fine Art degree. Although he focused on photography, he never gave up drawing and sketching. Cole’s photography helped inform his drawing and conceptualise pieces he had in his mind’s eye.
Whilst living and working in London, Cole has continued to work on his drawing and photography, taking every opportunity he could to get out in the field. Completing field and trails guide qualifications in South Africa in 2015, gave him an even greater appreciation for the natural world, which he now tries to incorporate into his work.
Cole has always been drawn to the nostalgia of monochrome imagery, especially in photography, and feels that informed his approach to his artworks. Although being colour-blind, this also comes in quite handy! That said, the simplicity that this approach allows is something Cole has always found appealing and is a feature he strives for in his works.
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