Kaboom! Where Did All the Animals Go? 2010 colour Biro drawing Jane Lee McCracken
Ever since she can remember, Artist Jane Lee McCracken has been passionate about art and animals. When she was eight years old Jane 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, whatever direction her life took. Born in Edinburgh, Jane constructs intricate multi-layered Biro drawings, sculptures, installations and designs products. Her work explores loss experienced by humans and animals, generated by human destruction and is representational of both life’s beauty and brutal reality. In 2014 Jane took a year out from her art practice projects, to make artwork to auction for conservation organisations including Save Wild Tigers, Wolf Conservation Center, WCS Malaysia, Coyote Watch Canada and Chengeta Wildlife. Her prints and products continue to support the fore-mentioned as well as Butterfly Conservation and the Orphan Bear Rescue Center, Russia. She also founded Drawing for Endangered Species workshops in corporate partnership with international wildlife charity, Born Free. School workshops share her passions for drawing and wildlife, and engage children in wildlife conservation:
“Many children possess a natural enthusiasm for drawing and animals. Through Biro drawing, education and the opportunity of self-expression, I hope to inspire children and enhance self-confidence, as well as generate individual interest and compassion for wildlife and the environment, which will continue into adulthood.”
Following delivery of workshops at the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle and Jarrow Cross CE Primary School, Jarrow, Artist Teacher Christine Egan-Fowler (RGS) and Arts Co-ordinator Linda Peacock (Jarrow Cross) approached Jane with the proposal of co-organising an exhibition of school children’s artwork produced during her workshops. This project has subsequently grown to include ‘Where Did All the Animals Go?’ exhibition and the Endangered Species Conference with headline speaker Will Travers OBE, President and Co-Founder of Born Free. The exhibition title was inspired by Jane’s artwork Kaboom! Where Did All the Animals Go?. Both events are supported by Born Free and held at Thought Foundation.