Over the last few months I have become an activist in my mind: my main aim to make an impact in the fight against wild life crime. I want to disrupt this process, I want to ask the questions that reveal truth and solutions, I want to challenge views and perceptions about wildlife in our neo-liberal economies. The poached and killed rhinos, the rhino orphans are a sad story about despair and cruelty, but the trafficker as the VILLAIN who controls and push the rhino horn consumption market, must also be exposed, for they benefit financially of ‘blood money’. I hope that conscious lines in my drawings and etchings will be taken over by art which is true and will bring clarity and a possible re- balance of our environmental and social values. I believe that the world need to come to a mindset that our natural resources are very vital to the world’s existence. In art history man showed admiration the the wild animals (Chauvet cave has 60 rhino images) – the speed, power, strength and danger these animals showed are visible in Palaeolithic cave art. During antiquity, with accumulation of wealth untamed nature and powerful animals were symbols of violence, war and struggle. For example, during the Roman period, the rhinoceros was a popular animal to be place in combat with another species because of his reluctance to fight. The animal would then be prodded, became angry, and once enraged he was invincible! After Rome fell animal traders would travel the countryside with performing animals. I read about Clara, a rhinoceros from India, who travelled Europe with her ‘handler’. This encouraged sales of rhino prints and engravings, and even a hairstyle for ladies was attributed to rhinos! I was influenced by a series of prints by an British artist, William Hogarth (The Four Stages of cruelty 1751) where cruelty and torture of animals were seen as a logical progression to move from animal cruelty to humans. Our society has become either indifferent to or encouraging violent behaviour. Natural history and hunting contributed to dwindling ecosystems and loss of wildlife. In our modernity with many issues concerning animal welfare, will I find a link between the oppression of animals and disenfranchised humans? I ask myself is animal conservation becoming a moral subject, can I stay an outsider? Brent Stirton, a photojournalist, referred to looking at the intersection of man and wild animals and that we cannot indulge in practices of consumerism of wild animals that lead to wasteful and cruel practices. JJ Rouseau asks: Has the progress of the sciences and art done more to corrupt morals, or to improve them? Evidentiary Realism may bring me to engage forensic investigations of the crime committed when rhino horn is poached and sold in the illegal market of wild life criminals and consumerism. It will put ecological realities in perspective, address polarised paradigms, expose truth about corruption, greed, consumerism and inequality — it will be a learning by doing my art.
Its seems to me I am more ready to follow up on keeping a blog. So as from today I will try to express the simple things in life that I take with me along my walk abouts as the beauty of living.