Welcome to the Jungle
Welcome to the Jungle
Welcome to the Jungle; An exhibition by Jennie Webber
Open daily: 31st August - 20th September 2020
Artist, illustrator and founder of Wild Life Drawing Jennie Webber will exhibit a series of drawings and paintings created in, and inspired by, her artist residency in the Amazon rainforest in 2019. Jennie spent a month at Ambue Ari, one of three animal sanctuaries run by non-profit organisation CIWY in Bolivia. Jennie spent her days drawing, being eaten by mosquitoes and helping to care for the variety of big cats, primates, exotic birds and many more animals – all victims of the illegal wildlife trade in South America. Unable to be released back into the wild, the sanctuary gives these animals as natural a life as possible in their native habitat. The sanctuary relies fully on volunteers and is not open to the general public. CIWY receives no government funding, but as the leading organisation specialising in wildlife care, it is the primary receiver of the illegal ex-pets, ex-circus and mistreated zoo cases in Bolivia. Ambue Ari predominantly provides a safe haven for big cats – jaguars, pumas, ocelots and margays – as well as a menagerie of other species including macaws, coatis, howler monkeys and – Jennie’s personal favourite – a tapir named Titus.
The exhibition will showcase Jennie’s experience in the jungle – from quick sketches drawn from life with the monkeys up in the treetops, to large-scale colourful paintings celebrating the diversity and unique personalities of the animals. Jennie’s notes will detail the stories of the animals and how they came to be rescued by the sanctuary, as well as the dangers of illegal wildlife trafficking and the complications that come with releasing animals back into the wild. A selection of limited edition prints will be available to purchase and all profits will be donated to CIWY.
Jennie Webber is a London-based artist, award winning children’s book illustrator and lifelong animal lover. After attaining a BA in Fine Art and an MA in Illustration at Camberwell College, Jennie set up Wild Life Drawing – a drawing class that focuses on animals and nature – in 2014. Since then, she has seen the project develop into an influential movement, inspiring a closer connection and a compassion for the natural world. The drawing classes continue to raise awareness of conservation and animal welfare issues and 10% of the annual business profits are donated to good causes. In addition, Jennie has illustrated ‘It Starts with a Seed’ and ’The Coral Kingdom’; two nature-themed books that aim to introduce conservation to younger children. Jennie also takes on commercial commissions for clients such as Abel & Cole and Ritz Carlton. This artist residency was a unique opportunity for Jennie to refine her observational drawing skills and to experience untouched nature first hand.
“I believe that the act of taking time to draw animals evokes a real empathy, as the artist observes all the beautiful details, natural behaviours and the individual personality of the animal. To me, drawing is the perfect way to reconnect with the natural world and incites a real passion to protect our planet.”
It was important to the artist to exhibit this work in a place that also provides a sanctuary for wildlife in the UK and a thriving ecosystem in it’s own right. Walthamstow Wetlands have kindly donated the use of their exhibition space for free. The commission on each artwork sold will be donated to the Wetlands. After that all the profits from the exhibition will be donated to CIWY in Bolivia.