AN artist is thrilled to have his work exhibited at Swindon’s Central Library.

Angelo De Mello has lived in Stratton for 33 years after moving here from Kisumu in Kenya.

His new exhibition In The Strokes features colourful paintings of nature and wildlife in Africa, some of which highlight the plight of a species of elephants which is on the brink of extinction.

The 60-year-old said: “One painting took two and a half years, one took seven months and one is from 1986, it’s my life’s work.

“All the hard work has paid off and it looks nice when they’re all under one roof.

“It’s great to have family and friends here to celebrate this.”

Mayor Maureen Penny officially opened the exhibition.

She said: “I love the vibrancy and the colour of the paintings, and the fact that the artist is doing something about the extinction of elephants.

“The colours are so warm and glowing that they draw you into the painting.“It’s nice to see we have so much talent in Swindon.”

The paintings will be on display at the Central Library for six weeks and are also available to purchase.

Angelo will be focusing on more paintings about the extinction of elephants over the next year, exhibiting his work across the county before beginning an ambitious project to paint scenes from the Bible in a more realistic fashion than they’ve been portrayed previously.

Angelo added: “For example, the famous Last Supper painting shows everyone eating at a table, but in the Middle East back then, and now, meals are eaten on the floor.”

“I’m always working on something and the Bible project will probably take several years.”