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.
World Animal Protection. “New York declares tiger selfies cruel, not cool.” (02/11/2015):1-4.Web.
Matt Smith. “Thai authorities raid famous Buddhist tiger temple for alleged wildlife trafficking.” News Vice (02/5/2015):1-4.Web.
Qmi Agency. “Tiger attacks Quebec zoo employee.” Toronto sun (03/28/2013)1.Web.