Since childhood, London-based artist Josh Gluckenstein has been fascinated by the unimaginable range of our planet’s wildlife and impressed to make sculptures of animals from discovered supplies. He usually makes use of discarded or recycled supplies like clothes from thrift outlets or wooden from outdated furnishings, and an necessary side of his apply is concern for the surroundings. “I’ve travelled by way of Asia, Latin America, and East Africa, and have been lucky sufficient to have some unimaginable wildlife encounters,” he says. “Nonetheless, on my travels, even in essentially the most distant areas, I used to be shocked by the massive quantities of plastic waste.”
A lot of the rubbish that washes up on shorelines around the globe is because of an unregulated system wherein richer international locations export waste to growing international locations as a result of it’s usually cheaper than growing higher infrastructures to deal with it. Most of the hundreds of transport containers exported annually are sometimes dumped illegally. Gluckenstein shares:
I keep in mind going to the Galapagos Islands and visiting a seaside well-known for a big inhabitants of sea lions. It was certainly unimaginable to see them within the wild, however on each inch of sand not coated by sea lions, there have been plastic bottles and cans. It was a heartbreaking sight. I knew I wished to create paintings that didn’t create waste and hurt our planet.
Gluckenstein fashions life-like portraits of elephants, primates, pangolins, and massive cats out of cardboard by tearing, reducing, and gluing items collectively into expressive visages, typically making use of skinny washes of paint for added depth and element. He usually works on a number of sculptures at a time, and a chunk can take between per week or a number of months to finish relying on the dimensions or quantity of element. “In lockdown, at house and out of my studio, I used to be very eager to get to work, however didn’t have the entry to the supplies I might often use,” he says. “That’s once I found cardboard, which was available, and I discovered it to be an extremely versatile medium.”
A brand new collection referred to as Gold focuses on trafficked animals by making use of gold leaf to their our bodies, highlighting the explanations they’re poached. The pangolin, for instance, is critically endangered as a result of it’s illegally hunted primarily for its meat and distinctive scales. Gluckenstein plans to point out these works subsequent month at Woolff Gallery in London, with a portion of gross sales donated to the WWF. Observe updates on Instagram, and see extra of the artist’s work on his web site.
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