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New art exhibition warns of the sixth mass extinction

10 July 2018 @TeesUniNews

 

A Teesside University academic has launched a new collaborative exhibition exploring the devastating impact of wildlife trafficking on endangered species.

Falcon by Amy Dover
Falcon by Amy Dover

Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design and Illustration, Amy Dover, has teamed up with Dr Tanya Wyatt from Northumbria University, an Associate Professor of Criminology specialising in green criminology. Their exhibition, ‘A Eulogy for Animals Lost’, tackles the hard-hitting issue of extinction and looks to raise awareness of illegal wildlife trafficking.

Amy and Tanya say that the planet is facing what some scientists are calling the sixth mass extinction. Whilst the main cause of loss of species comes from habitat destruction, another major cause of extinction is the poaching and trafficking of wildlife.

Together, they have created an interdisciplinary exhibition that explores the threat of wildlife trafficking on non-human animals. By combining allegorical drawings of endangered species with academic writing, Amy and Tanya hope to invoke empathy and understanding about the plight creatures are facing.

Wildlife trafficking is commonly perceived to be an issue in the continents of Africa and Asia, but through her research Tanya points out that Europe is one of the main consumers of wildlife and that Northern England, too, is a course of and destination for trafficked wildlife.

The exhibition looks to raise awareness of man’s impact on extinction and how the illegal trade in wildlife is closer to home than you might think.

Amy Dover, Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design and Illustration

'Wildlife trafficking is an avoidable issue and our wish is that endangered species will not one day only exist in illustrations like the dodo and the Great Auk,' explained Amy.

'These are my most ambitious pieces yet and it is a subject that is very close to my heart. The exhibition looks to raise awareness of man’s impact on extinction and how the illegal trade in wildlife is closer to home than you might think.'

Amy has exhibited internationally, including Portland, Los Angeles, London and Sweden. Her work focuses on the relationships and perceptions of humans with non-human animals. Through highly detailed graphite drawings, she toys with allegorical narratives and surreal moments to challenge the viewers’ perceptions of the creatures within them.

The exhibition is showing at Gallery North at Northumbria University, Newcastle, from 9 July to 9 September.