Rhino 2014 Biro drawing
Inspired by Albrecht Dürer’s ionic drawing ‘Rhinoceros’, 1515 ‘Rhino’ biro drawing symbolises man’s curiosity and relationship with the natural world, from Dürer’s epochal representation to the present day. Within 500 years of Dürer’s creative legacy, rhinoceros species teeter on the brink of extinction alongside tigers, pangolin, sharks and other keystone species. Lions, elephants and manta ray have also reached threatened status. Where once rhinoceros roamed in vast numbers, treading a 50 million year old evolutionary path, from the 1600s onwards rhino numbers have plummeted by 90%. Hunting, habitat loss and poaching for their horns to use in traditional Chinese medicine, factor amongst the reasons for their more recent and rapid decline. From a 16th century artist who executed man’s inquisitive propensity to study species never seen before in the west, this drawing underlines our vast 21st century knowledge of wildlife and the threats that face life on earth. Ultimately this piece aims to highlight the beauty, majesty and the importance of the depicted species, “ The creatures that inhabit this earth – be they human beings or animals – are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.” Dalai Lama. Paying homage to BBC documentary series ‘Africa’, 2013, the films are used as pivotal inspiration as the majority of species represented in this artwork are from the African continent. A monumental wildlife series, presented by David Attenborough Africa’ reveals the breathtaking beauty and fragility of Africa and the species inhabiting its lands. Jane photographed 1000’s of images of ‘Africa’ as it played onscreen to give a sense of cinematic transience. There is also an evanescent quality, symbolising that species are disappearing at a rate beyond that of their natural cycle. By portraying specific animals that feature in ‘Africa’, presents the individualism of each animal, both aesthetically and characteristically; thus emphasising the fact that each animal is unique and precious to the survival of its species. Selecting some of the most poignant scenes from the documentary, including perhaps the most touching of all, the death from drought enforced starvation of an elephant calf and the “little chat” between David Attenborough and a blind rhino calf, Jane confronts the threats these species face both naturally and at the hands of man.
“Like it or not this generation is responsible for handing on the world’s wildlife to the next. No one knows what the future holds for this little creature (blind rhino calf), nor indeed what changes will take place on the great continent in which he lives ... but one thing is certain, what happens here is more important than it has ever been and that the relationship of the rest of the world to this great continent (Africa) and the creatures that live in it is more important than ever before. On whichever part of the planet we live we all have a part to play in what sort of future this wild continent has.” David Attenborough ‘Africa’ epilogue.
African lions, Rhino, Blind Rhino calf, Pangolin, Tiger, Manta rays, Great White Sharks, African elephants - Detail
The original drawing has been gifted to Chengeta Wildlife and has also been used as a fundraising t-shirt design.
African lions, Tiger, Manta rays, Great White Sharks, African elephants - Detail