King Louis’ Animals, 2010 Pen, stitching on wallpaper.
My arts practice and research is a result of my ongoing fascination with and love for animals. While the welfare of the animal is an important issue within all facets of society, with laws in many countries that ensure they are treated humanely despite their ultimate demise, I noticed a trend within some Contemporary Art to ignore the rights and suffering of animals. I try to use animals in my work in a non exploitative manner whilst getting across my overall message that they should be loved and cared for, as opposed to the more common choices that people make. My work investigates a number of global animal issues such as the differences in the way we comprehend the animals we eat and the animals we love, hunting as a sport, disregard for endangered species due to cultural and religious values and the concept of speciesism; which is the belief that one species is more important than another. I also like to look at more personal aspects such as particular animals that I myself have loved and lost and also my own struggles with speciesism. I hope to create an inoffensive relationship with my viewers that will hopefully urge them to think about everyday animals as something more than pets, pests, entertainment or food. A quote that I believes typifies my approach to the work and the outer world is by artist Alberto Giacometti; “In a burning building, I would save a cat before a Rembrandt.” Nothing is more important than the quality and continuance of life; not even art. And that most certainly includes the lives of animals.