An artist from Norfolk is celebrating after his acrylic and
ink painting of a blue whale made it to the shortlist of a national competition highlighting species extinction.
Sketch for Survival Introducing attracted more than 400 entries from around the world. The competition – run by local conservation charity Explorers Against Extinction – showcases up and coming talent in which artists submit original work featuring an endangered species.
Submissions were narrowed down by an international judging
panel to just 100 finalists. Seven artworks were subsequently shortlisted for the
Sketch for Survival Introducing Artist of the Year Award, including Martham artist
Alan Stanton’s acrylic and ink creation.
Stanton, father of three and dental practice manager, aged
38, saw the competition advertised on social media. Having a life-long
fascination with science and nature and growing up rescuing an array of wild
animals from snakes to birds, he was motivated to support the Sketch for
Survival initiative, which successfully raised £60,000 for frontline projects
He said: “I wanted to create something that for me mirrored
the silence of extinction in our society. This piece was created with acrylics
and ink. I always look to deconstruct the subject I'm painting using
contrasting colours. This allows the piece some space from its background
without detaching it fully. I also like to leave room for interpretation.”
Stanton returned to painting in 2015, after more than a
decade’s break. He has also been shortlisted for an exhibition in a leading
contemporary gallery in Chelsea, London. He volunteers as an Art Ambassador for
Flegg High Ormiston Academy in Martham working with the students to develop and
inspire alongside the head of department, Mr Dan Coombes.
His blue whale, along with other selected artworks join the
invitational Sketch for Survival collection which professional artists have
contributed artworks to. Dozens of different species are represented in this
year’s exhibition from the oceans to the rainforest.
Celebrity contributors, including actresses Dame Judi Dench
and Sophie Thompson and British explorers Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Levison Wood who
are both patrons of the charity, have also put pencil to paper to make a stand
against extinction. They were asked to donate a 26-minute sketch of an endangered
species to highlight the fact an elephant is poached for its tusks in the wild every
Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who has sketched an Exmoor Pony, said:
“I’m pleased to support the Explorers Against Extinction campaign. Species
extinction is such an important issue.”
Fellow British explorer Levison Wood who has contributed
elephant sketches inspired by a visit to Botswana said: “I feel it my duty to
ensure that we continue to explore the world in a sustainable way. I am
delighted to support Explorers Against Extinction in their efforts to promote
conservation and protection of rare and endangered species and their
Both collections are touring the UK this autumn and can be
viewed at The Crypt Gallery in Norwich from 31 October – 2 November (free
Stanton along with the other shortlisted artists will have
to wait until November to find out if their artwork has won the top award. The
winner will be announced at the charities On the Edge event at the Royal Geographical
Society in London.
Visitors to Explorers against Extinction’s Sketch for
Survival exhibition are invited to have their say and to vote online for their
favourite artwork in the collection. Organiser
and trustee of Explorers Against Extinction Sara White said: “In the first week
we received 2,500 votes for the Leisure Painter’s People Choice Award. We can’t
wait to see which artwork will come out on top over the course of our five-week
exhibition tour. There are so many wonderful artworks – picking a favourite is
Artworks from both collections are available for sale throughout the tour with
going to frontline conservation projects.
Explorers against Extinction presents Sketch for Survival
Thursday 31 October 2019: 11am – 5pm; Friday 1 November
2019: 11am – 5pm; Saturday 2 November: 11am – 4pm. Free Entry.
Private View by invitation on the evening of 31 October
The Crypt Gallery
Norwich NR1 4DD
Please contact Sara White for further information, if you would like to attend the Private View in Norwich, or to request further imagery/video. Thank you.
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Explorers Against Extinction, on Thursday 17 October, 2019. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/