Art to contribute

by Emilie Victoria on May 12, 2015 - 12:23am

Art to Contribute

 

 

It stared with a picture I saw several years ago of a man, who seemed to be hugging a lion. Inspired and amazed, I saw comfort and love within the photo and since I first looked at the picture, it has always stuck with me. When I started doing my project on the conservation and deterioration of big cats, this image once again popped into my head, I had to find who this man was and what he did. Eventually I had found Kevin Richardson, or as some people refer him to the lion whisperer. I watched videos and documentaries of how he connects with these big cats and what his goals and aspirations are. Once again inspired by his determination and work I wanted so badly to contribute. As the weeks passes I researched different ways to volunteer with big cats, living in the city of Montreal it is difficult to take a plane out to Africa and spend thousands of dollars that I don’t have trying to make a difference. Rather than donating money to a random organization claiming to help big cats, I looked more into Kevin Richardson, what his goals are and his one of a kind way of interacting with such dangerous animals, when I came onto his site and found a project of his called Art Of The Pride.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been researching and analyzing articles about wildcat exploitation around the world. Articles about the consequences, trying to show the public that keeping wild animals in captivity, using them as a means to an end is wrong and it should stop. From skinning wild cats for money, keeping them as pets, crossing boundaries and in the process harming others, these are all issues that can be prevented or fixed if only we can become aware of the wrong doing and help save the deteriorating species. With the project I have done using my degree in art, I created a digital image of the first image that had inspired me to look into tigers and other exotic cats. Hopefully this will be a good contribution to the Kevin Richardson site and sanctuary as well as make people aware that we can make a difference in some way or another.

Art of the pride started off with a single artist who documented Kevin’s interactions with lions and painted pictures of her experiences. As this became more prominent, Kevin’s Facebook page now gets fan art, which is sold and profited to the sanctuary situated in South Africa.  My goal throughout the semester was to make people more aware of what is happening to big cats, why they are disappearing and what we can do to help. Making people become aware of the situation is the first step, and I think art is a great way to put the word out. Art can have a powerful impact on each person who views it as they all have an original interpretation. Either a good or bad impression it still brings up the question of what can we do to help the current state of these wild animals. Hopefully my art will make a difference and several copies can be sold in order to help the sanctuary, not only benefitting myself and my long life dream to work with big cats, but knowing I had made a difference with this contribution.

 

 

 

 

Works cited

 

https://www.facebook.com/LionWhispererSA?fref=ts

 

http://www.lionwhisperer.co.za

 

http://www.lionwhisperer.co.za/index.php/2014-09-10-12-02-57/art-of-the-pride

 

 World Animal Protection. “New York declares tiger selfies cruel, not cool.” (02/11/2015):1-4.Web.

http://www.worldanimalprotection.org/news/new-york-declares-tiger-selfies-cruel-not-cool

 

Matt Smith. “Thai authorities raid famous Buddhist tiger temple for alleged wildlife trafficking.” News Vice (02/5/2015):1-4.Web.

https://news.vice.com/article/thai-authorities-raid-famous-buddhist-tiger-temple-for-alleged-wildlife-trafficking

 

Qmi Agency. “Tiger attacks Quebec zoo employee.” Toronto sun (03/28/2013)1.Web.

 

http://www.torontosun.com/2013/03/28/employee-attacked-by-tiger-at-zoo-sauvage-de-saint-felicien

Comments

I believe this does become a new trend among people then it would be a miracle. As “Slacktivism”, something I talked about in an article of my own, is a trend that is already in motion. Slacktivism is the use of social media(Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc) to advocate any sort of civil, social or any other type of political movement. Namely through the use of hash tags, pictures and other facets. You may ask, why is this trend so popular among people?

Well the answer is quite simple as firstly social media is so readily available to everyone without any problems and secondly with a couple of keystrokes, requiring minimal effort really, people are misled into believing that they are truly making a difference. Yes you may be raising awareness about the issue; yes indirectly you are making a tiny impact. But to play devils advocate here some terrorist groups want exactly that, for people to know more and more about their cause.

For example ISIS has been a great propagator of this idea and used social media to full effect. Using firstly shock value to engross the viewer and then intrigue the viewer’s interest and finally inviting people to join the cause and people using social media are, consequently, by talking about the cause more people watch the videos and subsequently more and more people become aware of what they are trying to do and are marginally swayed and latch on to the cause.

The difference between that type of activism and this one is one of great magnitude. Any contribution to a cause direct or indirect is welcomed. But of course a direct impact is much more significant and will make much more of a difference. Actions speak louder than words, an idiom befitting of such a situation.

Art is something, which I personally love and am involved. Perhaps there is a slight personal bias here but I believe there could not be a better way to get involved. With art one is able to truly express themselves in a captivating manner. Art can engross people and thrive under even the most fickle of attention spans. As visual appeal, more often than not, trumps the written word as it requires no particular focus. Therefore art can be targeted towards a wider audience and hence more people can be made aware through art and as for the monetary side of things, well that’s another area whereby art can be utilized efficiently.

From an economic perspective art requires minimal investment, albeit it depends on what kind of art and the scale of the art but basic art does not require much investment. Paintings, music and movies are just a couple of options. Paintings seem to be the facet you have chosen which is probably the one that does not much investment but can have a high upside.

Of course putting it into such drab terms might seem like I’m dehumanizing the topic but it really isn’t. I am just trying to explore all the surfaces and accentuate how impactful art can be.

Thanks for brining forth such an interesting topic!

I have never particularly been exposed to the reality of big cats being endangered because of the different things people subject them to. It would have been nice if you could elaborate on what Richardson's ambitions are for current and future projects. But otherwise, I think that it is an interesting take on trying to publicize the realities of wildcat exploitation by using art. I, personally, have always been fascinated by art but I know that many people do not appreciate art as much now. I think that in this day and age, a lot of people have access to the internet and many people have at least one account on a social media forum, which would allow people to 'share' the art for the cause of raising awareness for the topic. But I often wonder if there are other creative ways to raise awareness about the exploitation of wildcats. Because, for myself, when looking at pictures on the internet, I tend to passively pay attention to what I see therefore it is easy for me to forget what I have seen unless it was a shocking image or story, or the way what was trying to be said was portrayed in a creative way. If an image was shocking to me, like the image in the following link http://bigcatrescue.org/abuse-issues/issues/pet-cubs/tigerpoachingskins/, I would definitely remember it. I think that if there were different tactics being used at the same time to raise awareness about the exploitation, it would be successful. For example, there can be a carnival type of event where it can be a family event and the theme of the carnival would be to educate people about the cause. There can be games where it can teach children about the big cats, and what is being done o them. All the money that is raised from playing games can be used to help the cats that are in need.

I would like to start by saying that your post offers an original approach the issue at hand. While most of the posts I have read describe the volunteering experiences, your post also describes the inspiration behind it. If you wish to further your involvement with the cause, I suggest that you follow this link http://wildlifepreservation.ca/. Wildlife Preservation Canada is a non-profit organization that works to protect all forms of wildlife. While I often hear about endangered species in the wild, the use of art to solve the issue is original. However, different forms of art have been known to be part of the solution to many different problems. For instance, music has been proven to present many health benefits for terminally ill patients. While you already mentioned a Facebook page dedicated to the preservation of the cats, I suggest you start your own to increase the exposure of your art.

I would like to start by saying that your post offers an original approach the issue at hand. While most of the posts I have read describe the volunteering experiences, your post also describes the inspiration behind it. If you wish to further your involvement with the cause, I suggest that you follow this link http://wildlifepreservation.ca/. Wildlife Preservation Canada is a non-profit organization that works to protect all forms of wildlife. While I often hear about endangered species in the wild, the use of art to solve the issue is original. However, different forms of art have been known to be part of the solution to many different problems. For instance, music has been proven to present many health benefits for terminally ill patients. While you already mentioned a Facebook page dedicated to the preservation of the cats, I suggest you start your own to increase the exposure of your art.

I love your idea to use your artistic talents as a means to benefit a cause dear to you heart. I have always felt that the best way for everyone to make a difference is to locate their own individual strengths and see how they can apply them to help. I really love the piece you made and your intentions in this project.
I would like to make a suggestion to you if you are open to it. I feel that your art is being held in a very small niche. Only people who know Kevin, look at his facebook page and are interested in buying art will be affected by your project. This is a very limited number of people and a very limited number of funds that will go towards the cause. I would suggest a slightly new project for you or anyone interested. You can turn your art into prints that raise awareness about the issue and the other art they can buy to support the cause. If you add titles or captions to your piece, get some prints done and post them in popular waiting spaces. If you put these up in the metro or in bus shelters or on bulletin boards in your local supermarket; wherever you see fit, you can garner a lot more attention to the cause. This may be another effective way that art can help the big cats. I learned through my own volunteer work that the key to any significant change is really public involvement. The more people are aware and concerned about a cause, the more likely it is to see change. I bet you that the people on the streets of Montreal and even of all of Canada are for the most part ignorant of these issues. We just don't here much about big cats because we don't really have any here except for mountain lions in BC. However, I also think that if they knew about these issues they would be upset and concerned. Maybe you can think up other ways to get the message out there and to get people to know your cause. People cannot help things they know nothing about.

Your idea is so incredible and out of the box that it will certainly draw the attention of others. I love that you took something that inspired you from a simple piece of artwork to join in on such a great cause. One way you could possibly get your idea out so people know about it is talking to the art department at school and having your image on display, as well as contacting the CSA members to mention it on their Facebook page. Anything that can get people to know is always beneficiary, especially with something like this that does not involve people merely handing organizations money but taking something they love and are passionate about to try and make a difference. As well, people are so concerned with different aspects of volunteer work from homelessness, environment, etc. not to say that these are not important matters, but it is interesting to hear about something different for a change; something as equally important, yet undermined. I believe the best approach to volunteer work is to do something that makes you want to get involved even more as you're working on it, or makes you want to inspire others to get involved. For example, I created my own volunteer opportunity, due to the fact, much like yourself, organizations make it difficult to get involved. One must either spend thousands of dollars flying around the world or doesn't even get a response back. Extremely interesting topic and the artwork is beautiful.

It is a good thing that your passion is linked to your volunteer opportunity. The fact that your love of art and love of animals such as lion are linked will really help and drive you towards your dream and goals. In order to reach more people and awareness about your cause, of course you can use social media to share your artwork and promote your cause or you could get involved in a legal street painting group in order to see your artwork exposed to the eye of everyone. This could have a great impact on your cause and bring more positive results than social media itself.

It is a good thing that your passion is linked to your volunteer opportunity. The fact that your love of art and love of animals such as lion are linked will really help and drive you towards your dream and goals. In order to reach more people and awareness about your cause, of course you can use social media to share your artwork and promote your cause or you could get involved in a legal street painting group in order to see your artwork exposed to the eye of everyone. This could have a great impact on your cause and bring more positive results than social media itself.