Biography

Gareth Hook was born and bred in Zimbabwe, he grew up on his family farm in Mutorashanga, 100km north of Harare. Gareth spent many school holidays on the farm, exploring the bush, which was literally a step away from the family home.

During his junior school years he became a member of the Cub Scouts under the leadership of Craig Bone, a world renowned wildlife artist. As a Cub Scout, they spent many hours learning to cope and survive in the wild, and how to defend oneself in the bush. Gareth spent his high school years at St Georges College where he completed his A Levels in Art. He then went on to complete a Fine Art degree at Rhodes University in South Africa, where he graduated with a distinction in Studio Practice. His time at Rhodes broadened his knowledge of the art world outside the realm of wildlife.

Craig was later to have a huge influence on Gareth becoming an artist in his own right. Craig felt that it was important to capture wildlife in their natural environment and Gareth has since spent many hours in the Zambezi valley and Zimbabwean low-veld, photographing and sketching not only the animals themselves, but the flora and fauna as well. During the course of a year, Gareth would make many trips to the bush to capture the changing of the seasons, so as to gain a true sense of the wild. He recalls incidents of being charged by a bull elephant as well as walking onto a sleeping male lion with not much cover around with which to make a stealthy retreat. He finds this aspect of his work crucial to maintaining, and renewing the vigor to put paint to canvas. Gareth is also passionate about wildlife and this passion reflects in his art. As he has grown as an artist he has seen the need for a change in attitude towards our wildlife and its conservation. Ultimately Gareth’s passion stems from the wildlife that we often take for granted. So in an attempt to give back he is delighted to be associated with the Midlands Black Rhino Conservancy in Kwekwe, central Zimbabwe, that helps prevent the ever increasing danger that our rhinos are in. He hopes that a percentage of print sales from his piece “Am I the Last” that are donated to the Conservancy will aid them in their tireless cause. His artwork is also currently on the label of the house wine at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge where a percentage of sales of these wines is donated to the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU) to help protect our beautiful wildlife. Gareth also attends the annual Mana Pools game count where funds are also raised for wildlife conservation.

Gareth has since exhibited successfully in such places as the United Kingdom, Ireland and showcased work in the United States as well as holding an annual solo exhibition in Harare. From these shows he has built up a solid clientele.

Gareth’s paintings and drawings may take many hours and weeks, but the combination of sketches, memories and photographs can bring about the satisfaction of a beautiful piece of art. It is now Gareth’s life goal, through self-discipline and hard work, to fine tune his skills and to further grow in the art industry not just locally but on an international basis as well.