London-based artist Abigail Brown dedicates her career to creating art inspired by the world’s unique and endangered species. And last month, she collaborated with Rainforest Trust on a project with direct benefits to wildlife. She drew a series of endangered animals and donated 10% of the profits from each print to Rainforest Trust.
Brown has had a fascination with animals since childhood. “I’m not too sure why it’s always been animals,” she said. “If it’s an echo of childhood toys or a desire to have a pet but never being allowed one, animals have always had the strongest appeal to me.”
Her passion carried over into her career, where she creates animal-related artwork through various media.
In school, she focused on painting and drawing. But after graduating with a degree in Surface Decoration and Printed Textiles, she explored working in fabric. She practiced stitchwork and creating 3D pieces by making animal plush toys. In more recent years she has moved into sculpture. “I have been working with paper mâché, metal, wood-carving and ceramics,” said Brown. “It is always centered on the animal kingdom and with a great fascination for seeking out the lesser-known weird and wonderful species.”
But researching these species over the years has also made her more aware of their plight. This knowledge fueled her decision to incorporate raising awareness of the various threats to wildlife in her work.
A few years ago, Brown met Rainforest Trust’s Chief Conservation Officer, Angela Yang. Yang came across Brown’s Okapi sculpture and commissioned her to make a series of endangered animal sculptures for the IUCN World Conservation Congress in 2016. When Yang joined Rainforest Trust, she made sure to inform Abigail of the organization’s mission.
Now occupied with so much work in other mediums, Brown has had less time to draw. But she started up again when her husband
gave her an iPad. She began using a drawing app, which inspired her to develop a project that would help her practice while benefiting an important cause.
“It struck me that a wonderful project would be one that helped a greater purpose: highlighting some of the planet’s endangered species,” said Brown. “It seemed like a great idea to approach Angela [Yang] about, so that the prints I made could benefit an organization helping those animals, with the hope that people might feel encouraged to make donations.”
The collaboration has benefited both parties. The Rainforest Trust team has enjoyed working with Brown and learning more about her work. And Brown has been able to practice drawing again and learn about the species Rainforest Trust protects. “Working with the teams at Rainforest Trust introduced me to many species I hadn’t ever heard of,” she said. “It was equally informative for me as my audience.”
Visit Brown’s website to learn more about her and purchase a print.
Header image: The Rainforest Trust Conservation Team holding their prints. Photo by Rainforest Trust.