A series of new works by renowned illustrator Erin Forsyth serve as an introduction to her ongoing project incorporating portraiture of endemic flora and fauna species with crucial information in accessible form. Each work has been carefully researched and meticulously prepared in gouache, ink, graphite and acrylic. It is the artist’s intention to illustrate not only the key characteristics of species, but also the key ecological relationships that sustain them and which, in turn, they sustain.
This process demands scientific and cultural inquiry into the endemic species by the artist and audience alike, challenging the mainstream perception of the natural environment as resource or emblem. The project also contributes to a dynamic movement happening locally and internationally in which many artists are choosing threatened flora and fauna as subject matter to draw attention to their plight and our responsibility as kaitiakitanga to ensure their survival.