This gallery includes a range of works on papers, exploring human impact and relationships with wild animals. Some of the drawings included here are finished pieces, and others are sketches towards exhibition development - and some of these works are quite old.
When I first returned to drawing many years ago, my focus was primarily on creating a portrait, appreciating how amazing animals are as living creatures. However pure portraiture has never held my attention for long, and my instinct is to go beyond pure pretty, and to evaluate why we are so fascinated with animals as subject, and then how we can use the medium of artwork to jump from being animal lover to an animal protector in the real world.
With the drawings that include human reference - typically hands - I am considering humans living in harmony with wild animals; a respectful symbiotic connection with wild animals, such as a falconer respecting the bird of preys’ inherent nature and working alongside them. An animal could fully maim an outreached human hand yet there are humans who do outreach their hands and work in tandem with wild animals simply by understanding and respecting the animals’ instinct to maim (even if it does so unintentionally).
With the more recent drawings where animals are imperfectly depicted (askew animals), I am exploring several ideas: from fractured environments causing animals to suffer, to the dysfunctional relationship we have culturally/socially when it comes to wild animals… how humans want/prefer/desire to see animals depicted perfectly (and then I am intentionally showing them another way - a string I intend to pull a lot with my works on paper going forward).
. . . .
As an animal lover and an artist I am depicting a subject that I feel compelled to create, however I am aware that simply depicting a perfect (or imperfect) animal is not beneficial to the actual living animals that are every day facing human-centric activities that causes their suffering. In part I am asking the viewer (as well as myself) why we are attracted to a beautifully depicted animal and whether, morally speaking, our interests in them should reach beyond our identification with them.