like a portrait artist, any bird or animal painted in the realism
genera deserves to be accurately portrayed. As an artist, know your
subject and try your best to represent it as beautifully as nature
Born in Portland,
Victoria Brett Jarrett (44)
is one of Australia’s finest bird and mammal painters having
dedicated much of his life to the study of these subjects. His interest
in wildlife started aged eight where winter beachcombing often revealed
rare subantarctic seabirds along remote windswept western Victorian
Since 1987 he has been involved in a wide array of scientific wildlife
projects in Victoria but 1996 opened the door to Antarctica through the
Australian Antarctic Division’s Whale, Dolphin and Weddell
abundance and tagging surveys. Later expeditions followed through the
Mawson’s Hut’s Foundation and as a wildlife guide
artist throughout the Antarctic Peninsula; East Antarctica; New
Zealand’s subantarctic islands and the Ross Sea.
The Northern Hemisphere proved equally alluring with scientific
expeditions over four years covered the entire eastern tropical Pacific
from Midway Atoll to Peru’s Humboldt Current studying the
behaviour and abundance of whales, dolphins, seabirds, flying fish and
In addition, stints living in northern Europe and a host of other
wildlife field projects around Australasia, it is not surprising that
he is the most travelled and experienced of Australia’s
day wildlife painters.
He has co-authored and illustrated several books dedicated to field
identification and anatomical accuracy:
Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds, volumes 2 and 3.
and Brush: Three Centuries of Australian Bird Art.
Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife.
Dolphins and Seals: A Field Guide to the Marine Mammals of the World.
Mammals of the World: A Comprehensive Guide To Their Identification.
Through his book contributions and as an award-winning artist with the
Wildlife Art Society of Australasia and the Waterhouse Art Prize,
Brett’s work is synonymous with marine wildlife however he is
equally recognised as one of Australia’s best equine portrait
artists and commissioned by clients wanting to capture their
horse’s unique personality and anatomical features.
Close to his heart are animal exploitation and cruelty issues and has
been a life-long contributor to animal welfare organizations and
His scientific illustrations are in use by the Sea Watch Foundation
(U.K.) and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society of Australasia as
educational tool highlighting awareness and the decline of many species
of marine mammal. In 2005, under the patronage of H.R.H. Prince Charles
and supported by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, two of
his illustration paintings from the award-winning book ‘A
Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife’ were donated to the
the Albatross campaign and auctioned at Trinity House, London.