As wild habitats diminish due to urban encroachment, farmland replacing wilderness, climate change, hunting and loss of prey to sustain healthy populations of predators (and predators being shot to protect livestock), we find more and more situations where wild animals are now living on the edge of “civilisation”.
Hyenas enter the city walls of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to find food scraps and these predators with an incredible jaw strength are even fed and encouraged by locals for the curious tourist trade. Leopards find livestock to kill on the edge of farmlands, coming perilously close to village life where they are shot on sight. This plus their vulnerability to poaching and the animal products trade, means their numbers have rapidly dwindled and they are now seen as critically endangered. In this painting, the Leopard is seen at night, the twinkling tiny lights on the horizon suggesting the edge of humanity. The Leopard stares out at us, it’s a simultaneous look of innocence but also the sharpness of a nocturnal hunter focussed on it’s prey.
There are now conservation efforts which include education programmes, trying to mitigate some of the losses and putting wildlife at the top of the ecotourism agenda. This is hopeful and I aim to support these efforts with more donations of original artwork for fundraising. This is painted mainly with inks e-sumi style (the act of flow and bleed of the paint), with overlaid metallic pigments catching the light and their dazzling markings.
Dimensions: 94 cm x 69cm
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