Tim Mitchell was born in New Zealand in 1973 and grew up immersed in the country’s majestic land and seascapes. His love of surfing, sailing and exploring the countryside brought him into close contact with the country's unique, rich and diverse flora and fauna. In 1996 he obtained his Bachelors in Forestry Science Degree, and in 2003 a post graduate diploma in teaching. Tim taught art, along with other subjects, in inner London, Hong Kong and Portuguese primary schools since 2003 and in 2015 became a full time artist. It was in that year whilst attending an etching course with the Master fine-print artist Nick Richards RE at Thames-side print studios that his etching path was defined. Tim has dedicated himself to etching since and was recently accepted into Greenwich Print Makers Association. He is based in southeast London and prints at the Thames-side print studio.
The use of animals and birds in storytelling across cultures and religions through the centuries interests me greatly. From my early readings of Aesop’s fables, The Wind in the Willows and fairy-tales and later on Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Farid ud-Din Attar’s Persian poem The Conference of the Birds, the Hindu Ramayama and Mahābhārata and Rumi’s This Longing, the way story telling uses animal/bird imagery fascinates me. The use of animals and bird 'characters' as a vehicle for the teaching of morals, ethics, tolerance, respect and understanding has been widespread through history. After many years working in primary school settings in Europe and Asia telling, and retelling students myths, legends and fairy tales, I have come to appreciate how important the animal element is for engaging and opening minds with imagination and questioning. With my print images I like to capture birds and animals at some crucial point in the midst of a story. The exact point in the story I leave for the viewer to decide for themselves.