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Linoprint, 55 x 81 cm

This artwork is part of “Communing with Creatures”, an ongoing series in my arts practice, and also part of the sub-series “Homage to Chelonians”. Turtles have admirable characteristics and are attributed with symbolic powers by many cultures. They also play an important part in my life.

The setting for this linoprint is a fictional landscape, the woman depicted is a self portrait. As all women in my artworks, she is naked—a visual metaphor of my devotion to the natural world and my honest, close bond to animals.

The woman is kneeling to show her appreciation and reverence for the turtles and to be physically closer to them. Her exchange with the turtles is indicative of my relationship to these animals and also of my idiosyncratic interpretation of the Jungian anima and animus. Accordingly, the proportion female/turtles is non-realistic and personal.

On the right in the picture is a ploughshare tortoise from Madagascar, on the left is a Grandidier’s (Aldabra) tortoise. The ploughshares are on the brink of extinction, due to poaching; the Grandidier’s tortoise has been eaten to extinction by the early settlers on Madagascar but is still living on the archipelago of Galápagos.

Please find the full artist statement for the series “Communing with Creatures” in the “painting” section, under “The Rescue”.