My primary interest in wildlife had its origins in the contemplation of nature. However, my work has now moved into a more subjective emotional observation of the dire straits in which the fauna of the world has remorselessly been plunged. Through the interrogation of this subject it is my intention to redirect the gaze of the viewer from the romantic concept of an African landscape to a current worldview where the imminent danger of a disappearing species becomes the focus.
The use of monochrome imagery lends a dramatic slant to the subject highlighting the form. The choice of a closely cropped image where the viewer will be drawn into a direct gaze of an animal is a deliberate choice. The image must confront and engage. Whether the gaze is from a minuscule mammal or bird to the sinuous characteristics of a big cat or the power of one of the continent’s behemoths the intention is to transport the viewer from a position of disinterested apathy to one of actionable engagement.
At present I am interrogating the notion of the relationship between myself, the viewer and the animal. Africa has always been portrayed as a savage continent within a romanticised framework. In contrast to this concept my viewer must inevitably realise that the greed, avarice and destruction that is prevalent in the Africa of today necessarily obviates this romantic notion. The landscape of Africa is being scarred every minute of every day.
It would appear that man is driven by a desire to accumulate and commodify all that he sees. From the time of the Voyages of Discovery we have been scouring the globe to find and then possess all that we see. In a current scenario where the population of the world has mushroomed to a staggering 7 500 000 000 it is imperative that we set up a different narrative for our existence on a planet that is overpopulated and under resourced. My work is a comment on that commodification intended to make us think about what we are doing and hopefully to motivate the viewer to change their behaviour.
I am aspiring to setting up a conversation with my work that will elucidate a sense of awareness while informing the viewer. I aim to be bold, in your face and to confront you, the viewer to see Africa through my eyes.
When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money.
~ Cree Prophecy ~
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE EXTINCTION EXTINCT.