Charity and art: joining efforts to protect endangered species in the UK - PART ONE
One of the key themes underlying my recent work is nature and the frightening possibility of extinction. Being an avid lover of plants and animals, this topic resonates with me deeply. As artists and art lovers, we have an admiration of what can be created, yet we may overlook and neglect the masterpieces of nature that surround us. I was shocked to find out that almost two thirds of species in the UK have declined in the past 50 years. For instance, such a quintessentially British animal as the hedgehog is on the list of the UK's top 10 endangered species: its numbers have fallen by 30% in the last ten years due to the threats from development and habitat loss. This means that a real danger of extinction exists at our very doorstep and a substantial effort is essential to avoid this.
Recently, I have met with the staff at the UK charity People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and their drive and passion have inspired me. In order to raise awareness and to offer support, I will donate 100% of my profits from the art sales during the Wimbledon Art Studios' "Open Studios" Event, 11 - 14 May 2017, to help their vital cause of protecting endangered species locally.
PTES is a conservation charity that has been actively working to protect threatened animals and their habitats for 40 years. They are passionate about their cause and believe successful conservation is based on sound scientific evidence and collaboration with others. A large amount of their effort is focused on British mammals, a group of species that are often overlooked in favour of birds or exotic animals.
Some of PTES's more recent achievements in the UK include:
- Introducing captive bred dormice back into 11 counties where they had become extinct, with the aim of reversing the trend of their declining range in England and Wales.
- Mobilising over 40,000 Hedgehog Champions to create 550 hectares of hedgehog friendly gardens; 3,900 hibernation sites and over 10,000 feeding stations across the UK to prevent the decline of this seriously endangered species.
- Managing the largest remaining block of ancient woodland on the Isle of Wight, restoring vital habitats to support populations of red squirrels, hazel dormice, barn owls and several bat species.
If you feel inspired to support the endangered species, while enjoying the art, come to the Wimbledon Art Studios' "Open Studios" event, 11 - 14 May 2017, and visit my studio #414. I will be exhibiting and selling my work from the "Organic Wreaths" and "Basal Elements" series. All profit from sales will be donated to PTES.
For more details about PTES's work and the other ways in which you can help, visit their website www.ptes.org.
Information about the Wimbledon Art Studios' "Open Studios" event can be found on www.wimbledonopenstudios.com.
UPDATE: Read about the outcome of this collaboration in Part Two of this article.