Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Safe for Illustration Friday 

The following pic might disturb some readers - if you're concerned, please don't scroll down. This is based on local news from last week. How safe is an endangered, protected species in a National Park? How often are there no witnesses to this sort of thing?

Fishermen charged over seal colony slaughter (from The Age 4th September).

The two fishermen from Philip Island "face a range of wildlife charges including hunting and destroying wildlife, injuring protected wildlife, using a gun to take wildlife and using a gun in a national park."

"The charges related to an incident last Wednesday when dozens of seals were found dead or dying after allegedly being shot on Kanowna Island"
- Fishermen fire at seal colony, leaving 40 dead.

"The fur seals are the world's fourth rarest seal species and their deaths provoked outrage, amid claims fishermen shot the animals to protect their catch."

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Apologies for two such downbeat posts in a row.


Not too graphic, just tragic. No apologies necessary, though. You're bringing much needed attention to these issues. Your illustration is very effective.
We must protect our so small Earth. And sometimes we feel like we have no power. But at least, we can talk about it. And hope for the best. Those are the only powers we have. As Aravis said, your image is not too graphic, but it express exactly the right feelings. Feelings of tragedy and great sadness.
It is beyond my ability to understand how humans can be so brutal to other living things - whether they are animals or other human beings. Your illustration is very strong and heartbreaking. You haven't gone for the shock factor, but you've been truthful in your use of color and composition. I see a pile of creatures who should be frolicking freely, floating istead in blood stained water.
the only thing ppl like that protect is there greed of money. It makes u wonder how many are getting away with it. That thats what the pisser is, all those who aren't caught. Very poignant illo. Just wish more ppl were aware of it and were able to do something to stop it.
It is difficult to look at-your amazing piece of work and the sad reality of a world that makes your depiction so very important. Bravo!
It is a beautiful illo despite it being a cautionary tale of greed. You really made something beautiful from something tragic and heartless. Isn't that what art is for? You must record lifes sadness and happiness so we can feel the differences. Wonderful work Ian!
Your illustration is very powerful and very well executed. Shame on me! Seriously your commentary is very important.
"Shot the animals to protect their catch"?? Forty dead??

Okay, that sounds suspiciously like it comes from the same place as "he accidentally fell down an elevator shaft...onto some bullets" or "I accidentally shot him nine times, then I reloaded and accidentally shot him three more."

Ian (the other one)
Tragic and Brutal. I feel sad for those fur seals and some kind of fear to how those guns can be so handy especially for people who have become crazy.

Your illustration is powerful-not just some kind of artwork where I can look at for seconds and move on. The use of red color tells the story.
Thanks, all. I felt pretty motivated to make this picture, but was pretty strapped for time. It didn't actually take long from sketching the seal outlines, scanning them in and them painting it. It's definitely a gut reaction - a kind of editorial illustration piece, with an elemental of stencil graffiti to the way I made it.

The number of fur seals slaughtered is likely well beyond 40 (estimates have ranged from 40-100), mostly because they head straight for the water when injured.

whether they are animals or other human beings

Carla, that's exactly what I often think about these things - it's certainly a fine line. I don't understand someone's belief in their right to commit an act like this. Maybe it's pressure of circumstance, but then that's a dubious moral measure.

the only thing ppl like that protect is there greed of money.

Michael, that's probably a big part of it, but often it's just a basic contempt, even hatred for wild animals - it amazes me how worked up people get over having to co-exist with any wild animals.

I truly believe that if thylacines still existed, many Tasmanian farmers would want the bounty back to make them extinct all over again. Witness the logging posts - extermination is a desirable goal for a lot of people - it pays for conservationists to recognise this disturbing mindset :(.
I KNOW! Could you believe this!!?? Unbelievable.

I agree that your illustration is very very effective in communicating that futility and the huge number of them that were slaughtered.
Ian, Thank you so much for the comment you left about my illustration. It means a lot to me. You're work is amazing and so thought-provoking. I would love to see the faces of the hunters if they could see this. . . or would they even care??? -- Karie
Wow. That illustration is fantastic. The story, and the very act itself, is horrific but you have no need to apologise for feeling strongly about it.
Senseless acts of violence. The world is full of such hypocrites! these people probably go to church on sunday and absolve themselves of any sins then give the finger to the guy who cuts them off while leaving the church parking lot! We can't even say "please, excuse me, or thank you" anymore...why should I expect people to act humanely toward creatures of the earth. Sorry...I get so riled up about people and the way they act.
i avent been blogging as much as i want to lately, and i just saw this now.

your illo gave me the shivers. not that its spooky, but the reality behind it is gruesome. i visited an Ocean Park a few weeks back and how these animals are treated to act like circus behind the audience bothered me. i hear stories of them being electricuted to learn tricks, but now knowing that such a number were killed just like that is all the more sickenig.
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