I have always been fascinated with animals and our relationship with them, how we, in today’s culture, have separated us humans from our fellow earthlings while we continue to symbolise ourselves through animalistic representation, anthropomorphism, and our human/animal nature relationship.
Drawing is my lifeline and my main medium. It is an output for my feelings, and experiences, a therapeutic process that has been with me for as long as I remember. If I don’t draw, my mind becomes clustered and out of focus. When I’m drawing, something happens within the mind and I start to flow, a feeling of relief and joy fills the body within. This feeling is transmitted onto the paper. I become focused and my mind calms down.
While drawing, I need to stop and observe my subject, look at it in a way that is more personal than just snapping a photo.
Today many of us reach for our phones and photograph the things we find interesting. But with phones as our shields we are moving further away from our reality. With that ever expanding distance, we also detach from our human and animalistic nature. Moving further away from our fellow earthlings, the animals that share our planet.
We love our pets like persons, we give them names, train them, and care for them, and they give us plenty in return, but what about the animals that we breed for eating, or the animals that are considered filthy just because they feed on our garbage? Do those animals not deserve our respect? It seems our relationship to animals is marked by both confrontation and confusion. People don’t know animals anymore, or understand what our interactions should be or could mean.
Recently, I started digging into the animal body itself, animals that I have found and collected, which are thrown in the trash or just left on the road (not killed by my hands). I wanted to move closer to these animals, to connect to them on a more personal level than just through drawing. It is necessary for me to observe my subject with my own hands, to feel, smell, touch, and visualise what is in front of me and care for my subject.
In a certain way, I feel that I am speaking through them, connecting to them, giving them a second life, embracing them as individual beings and looking at them for what they are, creating memories for me in connection to them and seeing myself in them. I am, after all, an animal.