Endangered Species Brooches

In the 18th century, when intimate relationships were prescribed by ‘rules’ and dictats, the eye brooch was a way to send a private token of love: a lavish declaration of passion. Depicting the senders eye, it deepened the clandestine relationship. Gold and gems around the miniature eye portrait, declaring a commitment; creating a meaningful as well as valuable piece, to be a treasured and cherished.

What do we now hold dear to us? Objects? Belongings? Lovers? Things of value? Or the natural world around us? These paintings symbolise the uniqueness of the diversity of life that we should be treasuring.
This series depicting the eyes of animals, endangered species or species under threat, is to highlight many that may be extinct in a generation. Incredible and important animals that we should have protected and appreciated, that may now be destined to be lost.

The frames are based on Ethiopian icon wooden frames. The craft of protecting a sacred and precious item, gives the enclosed paintings the element of being revered and treasured. The closed doors, symbolising the fragile future for much wildlife that are outside our everyday consciousness but nonetheless intrinsic to the health of the world in which we live.
When the doors are shut, the animal is out of view – will we notice or care that these animals are no longer here?