Exhibition: 29th October to 20th November 2010
Maddox Arts are delighted to present a new series of silkscreen prints by artist and film director, Madeleine Farley. Endangered traces Farley’s most recent adventure across the jungles of West Africa where she documented the epic journey of three orphaned gorillas; transported from Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent to the jungles of Gabon in Africa. In collaboration with The Aspinall Foundation, the artist also directed Gorilla School, a 13 x 30 minute series filmed for Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel. The exhibition includes the You Tube hit recorded by Farley, which captures an emotional reunion between Damian Aspinall and a male gorilla after five years from being separated in the wilderness.
Farley’s silkscreen prints follow the progress of three endangered gorillas as they are released from the protection of Howletts Wild Animal Park to a new life of liberation in the wild. The use of silkscreen prints allowed the artist to incorporate visual effects that could not be achieved by still photographs. As Madeleine states: ‘Capturing a good stills photograph of the gorillas became far more of a challenge to me than filming them. There’s very little colour in the forest and I realized that all my photos started to look the same. I wanted my images to stand out, which is why I decided to make screen prints.’
Donald M. Sheridan who printed Warhol’s work for eight years was commissioned by the artist to produce printed editions for the show. The Warholian effect attained in her prints combines different ideologies that far from portraying a sentimental journey, manages to uncover a profound message about this threatened species. Merging both bold colours and diamond dust results in a more intimate depiction of scenes between animal and environment. The incorporation of diamond dust allows the spectator to perceive textural effects, which vary depending on the viewer’s position in respect to the image. The contrast between light and shadow imbues the images with an immediacy; avoiding ecological clichés that have become synonymous with wildlife photography.
In an endeavour to rebuild the gorilla population and raise awareness for these threatened species Farley also presents us with a four minute film revealing a touching reunion between Damian Aspinall and Kwibi, a male gorilla that faced the challenge of surviving in the forest after being relocated from his birthplace at Howletts Wild Animal Park. Since posting on You Tube the clip has already attracted more than 1,250,000 views, demonstrating the level of public support for the cause. Presented in a contemporary visual language, Madeleine Farley’s prints and films illustrate a pressing environmental issue, reminding us of the dangers faced by the eco-structure of the forest if gorillas were to become extinct.