Robert E Fuller: The Yorkshire artist who gives a rare glimpse into the secret worlds of animals

Artist Robert E Fuller's wildlife paintings and films have captured the heart of a nation with a rare glimpse into the secret worlds of animals.

Now as they open in exhibition on the Yorkshire Wolds, they share some sense of the riveting drama that unfolds amid the quiet calm of the countryside.

As an artist, Mr Fuller draws inspiration from wildlife surveillance cameras to create highly-detailed portraits of the owls, kestrels, and kingfishers he sees.

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“I like to tell the individual stories of animals so that people can really connect with their different characters,” he said.

As an accomplished artist and TV filmmaker, Mr Fuller's work has helped draw a social media following of around two million people. His wildlife films also regularly feature on BBC1's The One Show.

Among the films on exhibit at the artist’s gallery in Thixendale are the stories of owls and swans filmed at secret locations in East Yorkshire.

There are dozens of cameras, capturing barn owls, tawny owls, kestrels, even stoats and weasels.

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To the artist, it is simply "incredible" to watch each moment as it unfolds, from fights over space to more tender moments between a mother and her chicks.

Kingfisher chicks hatchingKingfisher chicks hatching
Kingfisher chicks hatching

And then turning these images, captured on camera, into incredible artworks sharing the stories of individual animals.

In the exhibition there are touching scenes, of a patient kingfisher father encouraging each of his seven chicks to fly, shown in a heartwarming documentary.

Mr Fuller spent months filming the kingfishers in a secret location in East Yorkshire.

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“It was amazing to witness this kingfisher dad’s tactics as he got his chicks to make their first flights,” said the artist.

Wildlife artist ​Robert E Fuller at work on his new painting of great crested grebesWildlife artist ​Robert E Fuller at work on his new painting of great crested grebes
Wildlife artist ​Robert E Fuller at work on his new painting of great crested grebes

“He was very patient with them, using food to tempt them out of the nest and even performing flight demonstrations.”

It's taken years of patient observation, with an artificial bank and a hide with hidden cameras nestled within it. The final, remarkable, scene shows the male teasing each chick, one by one, out of the nest.

Mr Fuller was brought up on a farm in Givendale, just three miles away from his current base, and said he developed a love of wildlife from an early age. Through his work he hopes to inspire others.

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“My paintings and films are actually the portraits of animals whose lives I follow across generations," he said.

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to glimpse some of the animal stars that feature in Mr Fuller's films on live animal camera feeds. And there will also be global works, from his travels to film animals in their natural habitats. In his latest film footage, wildlife adventures in Brazil, Panama and the Arctic will be on show.

The exhibition runs until December 23, and is free to attend at the artist's gallery in Thixendale, North Yorkshire.