Shh, it's a Tiger! Siberian Tiger 2013 black Biro drawing
Shh it’s a Tiger! is the first drawing of the Siberian Tiger diptych. A Russian fantasy set in Ussirland, home to both the Udege people and the Siberian or Amur tiger, this artwork was inspired by the iconic imagery of Royal Bengal tigers bathing in the forest pools of India’s, Ranthambore National Park. Albrecht Dürer’s watercolour Landscape with a Woodland Pool (1496), a photograph of a lake in Ussuriland and Ivan Shishkin’s painting The Forest of Countess Mordvinova (1891) provided inspiration for the drawing layers of the forest backdrop. At the edge of a lake where a tiger has come to bathe, sits an antique Russian dacha birdcage belonging to Jane. Inside the cage a reclining Siberian tiger not only symbolises Bengal tigers shading in the ruined palaces of Ranthambore, but also highlights the escalating numbers of tigers in captivity, while fewer than 3,500 individuals remain in the wild. A giant Siberian tiger sweeps through the forest, illustrating Amba, the Udege name for tiger meaning Guardian of the Forest. A Red Army cavalry breaks through the trees, signifying both Red and White Armies who, while based in Vladivostok during the Russian Revolution, almost hunted this tiger subspecies to extinction. To the right of the cavalry, a ghostly tiger and an Udege woman walk side by side. Inspired by photographs Jane took of her television screen as a recording of Amba the Russian Tiger 2008 Gordon Buchanan, played on screen, the couple proclaim the fragility of both wild tiger and Udege populations. The tranquillity of the forest is shattered by a loud noise. The wading tiger looks out of the drawing in the direction of the sound. A sniper rifle hidden in the foliage indicates what he has seen – beyond the drawing a hunter has fired at the walking tiger in the second drawing of the diptych, Bang!