In a woods far away there is a workshop inside which is a young man dressed up in his welding kit and putting together fabulous sculptures of wild animals. These sculptures are made from discarded scrap metals and then cast into bronze.
Hermes attended the opening exhibition for this young artist, his first exhibition, in London. This event was hosted by Fauna & Flora International (FFI), a non-profit organisation, who were on hand to explain their work and how James’ art was being used to tell the world about animals that are on the brink of extinction.
James Wild is tying in his art with the conservation projects that FFI is running, their projects tackle the threats that are happening to our wildlife. FFI is an organisation that is looking at ways to find solutions within communities around the world to deal with environmental challenges. The FFI & James Wild want to raise awareness and funds for these projects.
James collects scrap from wherever he goes, he usually can find it just walking along the street, which is another big problem for the environment-littering. James gathers together what is useful for him and makes them into fantastic sculpture, he has been working on these and other designs for the last ten years. He bashes the collected scrap around with a hammer and welds the pieces into the animals characters that he creates.
He says that his work is an amalgamation of all this wasted material and that it is worked into something useful that has a pure spirit and tells the story about the animals, which is especially relevant in these times when we move further and further away from nature.
He is aware of the challenges that these animals face in the world due to poaching and also the impact that man is having on the planet and its ecology, many wildlife habitats are threatened by mankind’s activities. James wants to be a part of the conservation and to make others aware of the conservation that is needed to protect these animals.
Flora & Fauna International tell the story behind these animals that James has made sculptures of, many of them have been hunted to within extinction but thankfully due to the work of groups such as FFI many of these animals are being brought back safely into their natural habitat and that their numbers are increasing again.
FFI have over 130 projects going on around the world, and explained to us how exploitative the illegal animal trade is, most of it is done by the criminals of the black-market trade and international criminal organisations. Sadly, the crime organisations use the most vulnerable people to carry out their work for them so FFI have been working with these communities and other organisations to help keep these people away from being caught up with these criminals. They do this by setting up roles for communities that encourages them to play an active role in conservation in their area, FFI wants to work in partnership with these people and other organisations so that they can be trained in local work and conservation that will give them a livelihood that does not let them become involved with criminal factions.
One of their other aims & James’s too is to make people aware of the fact that there is today a gap between humanity and nature and that can be bridged with education and aid. They encourage people to reflect on the impact humanity has had on nature and the ways that we can all help make it a better world for humans and nature.
One can find out more about the work of FFI by going to their website at https://www.fauna-flora.org/
And James Wild’s art can be seen at his website https://www.jameswildsculptures.co.uk/