donna lawley hopton

 

In 2013, I joined a local badger conservation group and became interested in ecology. I learned about biodiversity, trophic cascades, ecosystems, and the politics negatively affecting the environment. 

Humans represent 0.01% , yet we have eradicated 89% of life on earth by either hunting, removing habitats or poisoning. Now that statistics are more in the public domain, and with the focus that the climate crisis movement is bringing– people are waking up. The Sixth Mass Extinction is unfolding, with 200 species a day going extinct.

The resulting work explores the ecological niches of our iconic species. What role do they play in the big scheme of things? and when we remove a species, or reduce numbers – how the knock on effect is huge, and insidious.

 

The images are ambiguous. We are at a critical moment in environmental history– are we going to let this ecocide continue– or are we going to evolve, and begin to respect life– what ever form it takes.

I work in oil and graphite. The paintings are a combination of oil paint and graphite sketches. The paintings are largely worked out on the board, not in a sketchbook, as I like to retain some of the marks that have been made along the way to the finished piece. I have always adored Giacometti’s paintings. This technique is also used to suggest movement, and time. Small areas– usually the face, and particularly the eye, are finished in oil, in detail, paying homage to the exquisite beauty we stand to lose.

Last year I won the British Wildlife Artist Open at ACE Arts in Somerset, a gallery that I am so proud to be involved with. It was my first win, and Simon King was on the judging panel... It gave me the validation that I am on the right path, and my first solo show this October.