I explore the themes of vulnerability and extinction focusing on the fragile and often bleak environment. Using inks, photography, gouache, charcoal, watercolour and pastel, the images evolve depending on the surface whether paper, wood or canvas. Inspiration is drawn from places I have visited and have felt a strong connection and sketched and photographed. Tasmania remains a constant source of inspiration because of my emotional attachment and its unique qualities. I used to visit the Tasmanian Museum to see the Tasmanian Tiger in a glass cabinet and grainy footage of the last creature walking backwards and forwards trapped and tragic in a cage at the Beaumaris Zoo in Hobart. My late mother told me when she was a child she saw the last remaining pair of tigers in this zoo. They were desperately sad figures in a concrete cage. The last known living Tasmanian Tiger died in captivity at the zoo on 7 September 1936. There is no memorial for the Thylacine. Instead the animal that was hunted to death through a bounty system is used or exploited as an icon in advertising on beer labels, cricket logos, number plates and tourist signs and, since 1917, two healthy tigers feature in the official Tasmanian coat of arms.
I am to convey feelings of fragility and the devastation that is caused by people on the habitat for animals. The challenge of balancing the needs of people and nature. Ultimately, the impact and actions of people can lead to the extinction of some animals as with the Tasmanian Tiger, the Thylacine and the Tasmanian Emu. Currently the Tasmanian Devil is under threat.
Fossils of the Thylacine have been found at Lake Mungo the source of inspiration for my sketchbook which was based on the theme prehistoric. Lake Mungo is a dry lake in south-western New South Wales; Australia... The Lake is a fragile area of rare beauty and archaeological significance. The lake is the central feature of Mungo National Park, and is one of seventeen lakes in the World Heritage listed area. The materials used in the sketchbook include ink, watercolour, iridescent acrylic and fluid matt medium to transfer images to give them a crumbling, decaying effect.
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