During my travels in 2005 with Friends of the National Parks Foundation in the deep jungles of Borneo, the eyes of the orang-utans and native Indonesian wildlife struck me. This was the catalyst for my mission to raise funds and awareness for endangered wildlife. At the time, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the rehabilitation centre for orang-utans. I remember how heavy and steamy the air was as I walked towards one of the enclosures. The heaviness eased as I looked into the most loving, big brown eyes I had ever seen. These eyes captivated me. The love shining from her eyes was the key to unlocking the personality and sentience that I burn to express through each of my works.
I believe these beautiful beings are calling me to express that they are not just mere commodities; to be exploited, used or forgotten.
Before I start, I take time to connect with the animals and imagine being in their world – to listen to them so I can tell their story. I take all the time and care I need to perfect each mark I make. This is my way of honouring their story and respecting them at the deepest level of my being. It’s a slow and deliberate process that unfolds one stroke at a time.
Artists for Conservation signature member Geraldine Simmons lives and works from her home studio at Collaroy on Sydney’s northern beaches. Geraldine has exhibited and won awards in many selected exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Some of her most notable exhibitions include the Waterhouse Natural History prize, Richeson75 International Animals, Birds and Wildlife, Sketch for Survival, and Art4Apes ENDANGERED Fine Art and Photography Exhibition. In 2016 she became a signature member of International Society of Scratchboard Artists. ~ Geraldine Simmons
Cougar Eyes: Cougar populations are declining as a result of unsustainable hunting, habitat destruction, and conflicts with livestock. They require large areas of habitat in order to thrive.
Florida panthers, a subspecies of mountain lion, are listed as critically endangered on the endangered species list.
Ninety-five percent: That’s how much the ring-tailed lemur wild population has plummeted since 2000. Habitat loss, the illegal pet trade and bushmeat hunting are driving this charismatic species to extinction.
Humanity needs to do things differently in order to save this species and many other endangered species. The situation we are currently experiencing with the corona virus is bringing out incredible kindness, respect and mindfulness in so many people. Let us show that same respect and compassion towards animals. “We’re all in this together” to protect the biodiversity that sustains us all.”
In the last 21 years lion populations have declined by 42%. We must act now to ensure the survival of this iconic species. Lions are essential for maintaining the health of Africaʼs fragile ecosystems.
Howl Yeah!: The concept for my original drawing was to add a “magical” touch by including a shooting star in a starry night background. Scratchboard was the perfect medium for creating the fluffy texture of the wolf’s coat.
Not Many of us Left: Gorillas are disappearing fast as a result of habitat destruction, poaching and civil war. As a matter of urgency I was compelled to draw a portrait of this most noble and magnificent creature.
Under the Moon: Owls have always intrigued me and are my favourite bird species. On the northern beaches in Sydney where I live the only species of owl is the powerful owl. Sadly their numbers are rapidly declining due to habitat loss