This may not be the ideal forum – but I feel I need to speak out about this at any opportunity. Animal welfare is a cause close to my heart and is reflected in my work in that I try to express the idea of fragility, to highlight the humble and overlooked and in doing so encourage people to connect with the natural environment and their humanity.
Several months ago I read an amazing and beautiful book by sculptor Jutta Feddersen called “Substance of Shadows”. This book affected me deeply. In it she writes “the fragility of humanity, animals and nature has always been my special concern”, having witnessed the total breakdown of humanity during WWII. Reading her book was the first time I fully realised the opportunity I had to express and communicate a philosophical position through my work instead of it being a purely aesthetic expression.
Last night on tv was a documentary on “Four Corners” highlighting the plight of animals involved in the live animal trade that Australia continues to participate in. Their suffering in transport and in particular their treatment at their destination (at which point Australian exporters seem to feel they are absolved of all responsibility) is nothing short of disgusting and inhumane. As a civilised country we cannot condone this and it must stop.
These animals (as are all farmed animals) are at our mercy and rely on our humanity for their wellbeing.