Where Did All the Animals Go? is an art and environmental education project with drawing, one of the oldest forms of communication, at its core. The project gives children and wildlife a voice.
Education is key to reversing the biodiversity crisis. Founded by Artist, Jane Lee McCracken to share her passions for drawing and wildlife, and in partnership with international wildlife charity Born Free and a dynamic group of North East teachers, this grassroots project provides, through art, environmental education to the community. With the artist at its hub using Jane's preferred medium, the humble Biro, the project incorporates:
- Where Did All the Animals Go? an exhibition of Biro drawings by North East school children created in Jane’s drawing workshops.
- Drawing and environmental education programme with global reaching educational resources provided by Jane and Born Free.
- Endangered Species Conference open to all members of the community, which brings together experts and children to deliver presentations.
Kate Tooley Year 6, St Oswald's RC Primary School with her colour Biro drawing Fosa 2019
The project aim is to call for wider awareness and compassion for wildlife affected by human destruction, and the subsequent impact of wildlife depletion on humanity if we don’t act now. Through Drawing, Interacting, Exhibition, Conference and related interactive activities, Jane invites us to explore the facts as to why and how species are threatened. Simple key actions are explored to make positive changes for wildlife, both locally and globally.
Children from Mortimer Primary School, South Shields, visiting Where Did the Animals Go? exhibition Thought Foundation 2019, to see their art on display and participate in a special half-hour workshop with Jane, drawing orangutans and tigers in sketchbooks
By specifically involving primary schools, the aim is to encourage children to become ‘environmental brokers’.
Wildlife is something we all share; wildlife has the power to unite us through the need for its conservation. This project provides an opportunity to experience the beauty of child art as well as form connections with vulnerable species, through the creative response of a generation of young people.
Bengal tiger; Image courtesy of Born Free
Kaboom! Where Did All the Animals Go? 2010 colour Biro drawing, Jane Lee McCracken
In 2014 Jane founded Drawing for Endangered Species workshops in corporate partnership with Born Free Foundation. Sharing her passions for drawing and wildlife, the aims of her workshops are to highlight the plight of endangered species and need for wildlife conservation, while encouraging drawing in schools. Where Did All the Animals Go? project evolved from the positive response to her workshops.
Many children possess a natural enthusiasm for drawing and animals. Through Biro drawing, education and the opportunity to enjoy self-expression, I hope to inspire children and enhance self-confidence, as well nurture environmental brokers and generate individual compassion for wildlife and the environment, which will continue into adulthood. Jane Lee McCracken
Horsfield's Tarsier 2019 colour Biro drawing by Callum Year 6 RGS
DRAWING FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES WORKSHOPS
Ever since she can remember, Jane has been passionate about art and animals. When she was eight years old she read in a wildlife magazine that Caspian tigers, which once roamed from Turkey, to western China, had been declared extinct.
Unable to comprehend how such a magnificent species could disappear forever, this event prompted a promise from child to future adult that she would highlight the plight of endangered species.
Soraya, the last Caspian Tiger at Hagenbecks Tierpark Hamburg
Since 2013, inspired by her project In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia for her solo exhibition The Woodcutter's Cottage at the Mercer Gallery Harrogate, Jane has created artworks to raise funds for conservation organisations including Save Wild Tigers, Wolf Conservation Center, WCS Malaysia, Coyote Watch Canada and Chengeta Wildlife and Born Free. Her prints and products continue to support the fore-mentioned as well as Butterfly Conservation and the Orphan Bear Rescue Center, Russia.
Shh it's a Tiger! | Siberian Tigers 2013 Biro drawing In Homage to the Last Great Carnivores of Eurasia project, Jane Lee McCracken
In a pledge to educate children further through art, about the plight of endangered species as part of her philosophy of giving back to species she has depicted in her art, Jane founded Drawing for Endangered Species Workshops which sees a percentage of her workshop fees donated to Born Free.
Jane has delivered Drawing for Endangered Species workshops since 2014 to hundreds of children from schools in rural Northumberland to North Yorkshire. She also delivers workshops to both adults and children at Thought Foundation.
Year 4 children of Mortimer Primary School, South Shields working with Jane during Oceania species workshop
WHERE DID ALL THE ANIMALS GO? PROJECT
Christine Egan-Fowler, Artist Teacher, Royal Grammar School, Newcastle, attended one of these workshops. Christine, an ArtWorks fellow, is a campaigner for Art and culture in schools. She considers herself a ‘Cultural Broker’ (Pat Thompson, 2018).
She was involved in ‘TIME to LISTEN’, at the House of Lords in November 2018, presenting research from the four year TALE project with TATE, RSC and Nottingham University. The research project made recommendations about the vital role of cultural learning and gallery experiences.
Christine Egan-Fowler project interview
A conversation about this meeting cemented an ongoing partnership with Christine and Linda Peacock Arts Co-ordinator of Jarrow Cross Primary School, who has worked with Jane since 2012. Christine and Linda approached Jane in 2018 with the idea of exhibiting children’s Biro drawings created in her workshops. Jane received support from Born Free and titled the project Where Did All the Animals Go? after one of her artworks.