Jon Hart Gardey


Artist Biography:

Jon Hart Gardey was born in Chicago and moved to Los Angeles when he was nine. His parents built their house in Laurel Hills Road and he grew up with a menagerie of animals to look after including a dog, a cat, goats, bees and various other visitors. His fascination with photography began in LA when he was 12 and he received his first camera. His passion for photography has been a constant part of his life. Jon Hart Gardey trained as a pilot and a meteorologist. He flew for the US Air Force as a jet pilot and then, with a new wife and family, decided to concentrate on meteorology instead, gaining a degree in Meteorology from UCLA. His work took him to Alaska; a trip which was to change his life. He and a number of friends decided to climb Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in Northern America and only a few thousand feet shorter than Everest. The epic climb to the top began his lifelong love for Alaska, where he, his wife and two daughters made their home for 10 years. Jon Hart Gardey eventually climbed almost every mountain in North America and his flying and other travels have taken him to many other parts of the world, including Africa and India. He has crossed the Italian Alps in a hydrogen balloon, flown a plane for food drops in Ethiopia during President Mengistu’s terrifying reign and crossed the Sahara in a hot air balloon. His work eventually brought his family to England, where he fell in love with the people but not the climate. Shortly after his arrival in the UK he and his wife Jill took the decision that he would become a full-time photographer. Tragically, Jill, was then killed in a car crash and photography has been his life ever since. Jon Hart Gardey worked on many television productions and over 20 feature films, including 'Maurice,' 'The Handmaid’s Tale' and 'The Scarlet Pimpernel'. He was also awarded the National Art Directors Award in America. His photo-journalism took him many times around the world and to dozens of countries including Cuba, Iran, Nepal and China. Sadly, Jon Hart Gardey died in 2009.

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