Most of Africa’s wildlife is under threat in some form or another. Having spent a lot of time in the bush since before I can remember, this is a cause I am genuinely passionate about, and my love of drawing wild animals has come together with my use of lipstick to create images which I hope will make some kind of impact.
South Africa’s wildlife bore the brunt of the impact from colonialism in the 19th century, when Boer and British settlers used their shotguns with bloodthirsty efficiency, and both the bluebuck and the quagga disappeared forever. Habitat loss and competition over land with farmers continues to erode numbers, but now poaching has reared its head as a very serious threat indeed – and most of it is fueled by demand from Far East Asia, notably China and Vietnam.
The vivid red of lipstick alludes to so much blood shed. The Endangered Series I am exhibiting in Japan includes four species with different stories: the white rhino, the African elephant, the Cape mountain zebra and the cheetah.
Both African rhino species have been the focus of considerable awareness efforts over the past few years, thanks to an unprecedented increase in poaching as a result of demand for rhino horn for its non-existent medicinal qualities and very real status as a luxury item.
Elephants have seen an alarming decline in numbers as a result of poaching.
Cheetahs are under pressure from habitat loss and competition with farmers:
While the Cape mountain zebra is a rare success story, escaping near extinction in the 1930s and increasing its numbers since.