Khan Snow Leopard | In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia 2021 blue and black Biro drawing

Created for Jane's artwork Where Did All the Animals Go? 2021 on permanent display at Great North North Museum: Hancock, Khan highlights the plight of one of the most beautiful and elusive species on Earth, the vulnerable snow leopard known locally as the ‘Ghost of the Mountains’. The drawing depicts historic events and waning cultures, through the eyes of these big cats. Over millennia, from their mountain eyries, snow leopards have witnessed the rise of Ghengis Khan and the Mongol Empire, Nepalese villagers driving caravans of yak across the Himalayas and the extermination of Mongolian wolves during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. To this day, snow leopards are hunted for their fur, and face increasing pressures from human encroachment on their habitat.  

The drawing features a Himalayan vulture, a near threatened bird that is not only sacred to many cultures in the region but that also shares a commensal relationship with snow leopards. Both the snow leopard and vulture are woven with layers of drawn images referencing the films Mongol, 2007 by Sergei Bodrov, Himalaya, 1999 by Eric Valli and Wolf Totem, 2015 by Jean-Jacques Annaud. This layered technique, used in many of Jane’s drawings, conjures a cinematic quality to her art. Part of her fine china and print collection In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia, this artwork explores the region where the snow leopard is Khan.