Artist Biography - Anthony Amos
Self taught as an artist, Anthony Amos’ natural ability for image making is evident through the stunning depiction of his chosen subjects. Anthony portrays the physical and often threatening powers of nature and man. His images are of dangerous and dirty work, of never-ending manual labour and incessant repair, typically of worn out men trying to keep worn out boats afloat. Fro...m images of salt encrusted rusting hulks, to the dust and rust of the dry rock, Tony captures the drama and spirit of maritime life.
Amos's work maintains a unique, raw quality that is rarely translated through artwork. The artist had an unusual technique as he preferred to paint with his fingers, a bit of rag and the wrong end of a brush. He had a natural gift, an insight to a particular way of life, which taps into a artistic nostalgia that lies within us all.
Born in Bristol in 1950, Anthony joined the Merchant Navy at the age of eighteen in search of freedom and adventure. With the return of the S S Great Britain to Bristol Docks in 1970, Anthony embraced the opportunity to assist in the painstaking process of restoring the prized ship to her former glory. This experience lured Tony in to many years of work on commercial ships, most notably tugs and trawlers.
Upon leaving the Merchant Navy in 1984, it was not until he was in his forties that Tony turned to his first love, art. Attending painting courses at Manchester School of Art, Bristol and Cardiff enabled Tony to develop his own style. His practice lasted for some twenty years and during this period Anthony Amos wasted no time in producing stunning and powerful works, drawing from personal experience and memory. Often painting on large boards, Tony’s physical approach involved the casting off of brushes in favour of his fingers and rags. His signature use of bitumen and oil paint creates a unique sepia tone offering a nostalgic sense of history and respect for a bygone era.
The artists preferred subjects were related to the sea - the shipyards, scrapyards, working ships and fishing boats - unsurprising due to the influence of his time spent in the Merchant Navy. However, later his focus expanded, investigating architectural, farming and city and town based subjects. The artists permanently sought to experiment - he was inspired by the elements and this was reflected in his paintings which depicted changing seasons, the weather, stormy skies, colours of the atmosphere.