As an innovative approach to raising funds for conservation, the World Land Trust gallery launched on 10 December in Halesworth, Suffolk. Celebrating wildlife and landscape art, the gallery aims to attract contemporary artists, while also offering a wide range of decorative and highly collectable original art and prints.
After the Event
The opening exhibition featured the work of renowned local artist, Jason Gathorne-Hardy, focusing on his intimate depiction of domestic animals and wildlife. Jason trained as a Zoologist at Oxford University, but his fascination with livestock and wildlife inspired him to experiment in art, initially with wood carving and later with graphite and natural pigments. Jason likes to sit with the animals he draws to capture their individual characters and many of his drawings bear the marks of their friendly interest – in the form of lick marks, dribble, and the occasional hoof print.
Joining Jason was photographer Joe Bunni, a category winner in the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer 2011. Joe’s passion for capturing the world’s most impressive animals led him on a search for polar bears. In a small boat, bobbing along Repulse Bay in Nunavut, Canada, he got lucky; slipping quietly into the ice-cold waters, Joe swam a short distance away from a lone polar bear. Unobserved, he was able to spend 20 minutes photographing the power and elegance of this beautiful creature. He captured an award-winning image that will be on display at the World Land Trust gallery. It has been described by a fan, Amelia Swan, as an extraordinary picture: “It brought tears to my eyes”, she said. “It has reminded me of the hardships that polar bears face in their environment. Breathtaking!”
Complementing the work of Jason Gathorne-Hardy and Joe Bunni, was artists Bruce Pearson (former President of the Society of Wildlife Artists and current WLT trustee), Andrew Squires (abstract wildlife artist and long-term supporter of WLT), Ortaire de Coupigny (sculptor of art objects and portrait painter), and Paul Lightfoot.
The launch of the World Land Trust gallery was a great success and is yet another example of WLT’s ambitious approach to fundraising and unwavering commitment to saving the world’s wild spaces. This creativity and innovation is one of the main reasons that our patron, Sir David Attenborough, first gave us his support.
Speaking about John Burton (WLT’s CEO), Attenborough said:
“I realised that John was someone who got things done. When he and his trustees launched the World Land Trust in 1989, I believed that John would carry on the focus of getting funds to where they were most needed in the race to save habitats and their wildlife.”
Today, we continue to be at the forefront of cutting-edge fundraising projects and the World land Trust gallery is no exception. Celebrating the beauty of the natural world, it continues to help raise funds to save the most endangered animals and plants on Earth.
Read our flyer containing more information about the WLT's first exhibition, featuring Jason Gathorn-Hardy