Sandy artist in bid for wildlife prize

Consuming The Spirit by Owain George.
Consuming The Spirit by Owain George.

A wildlife artist from Sandy has been shortlised for an international prize.

Owain George has been shortlisted for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s (DSWF) Wildlife Artist of the Year award.

Owain George

Owain George

Celebrating its tenth year, the renowned event will showcase some of the world’s best wildlife art at London’s Mall Galleries from June 28 until July 2.

Owain will be displaying his shortlisted work entitled Consuming the Spirit and vying for the top £10,000 sponsored prize.

Owain said: “What fascinates me is our impact on the natural world. My recent work seeks to represent the beauty of wildlife, with subtle hints of a darker tone, exploring our relationship with nature.

“With my trademark style and meticulous attention to detail, I want the viewer to feel like they can almost touch the animals yet be reminded of their precarious position and the dangers the animals face, in particular man’s encroachment into natural habitats and our continued use of them for our own selfish needs. Leaving us to question how long we have left until these magnificent creatures disappear forever.”

DSWF CEO, Oliver Smith, said: “The sheer diversity of media and form this year has created an extraordinary celebration of the natural world and a huge challenge for the judges.”

Award-winning artist Gary Hodges, one of the judges, said: “This year’s shortlist brings the wild to life. From the silence of a shark casting its shadowy form on the ocean bed to the scuttling of armadillos, the peacefulness of hippos wallowing in the early morning sun and the symphony of bird song at dusk, selecting the overall winner from this amazing collection will be extremely hard.”

The judges have 163 works to view before making their final selection on June 27, ahead of the prize-giving that evening.

Wildlife artist and conservationist, David Shepherd, said: “I set up my foundation with the sole purpose of giving something back to the animals that helped me achieve success as an artist. At a time when the world’s wildlife is under such devastating pressure from expanding human populations and the illegal trade, it seems fitting that we take a step back and reflect on the sheer beauty and diversity of our natural world and what could be lost if we do not truly appreciate the value of the world around us.”

Each piece in the exhibition at the Mall Galleries is for sale, with profits split 50/50 between the artists and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s wildlife conservation projects across Africa and Asia. Since 2007, the event has raised more than £350,000 to help protect some the world’s most endangered wildlife.

Pre-sales and an online catalogue will be available from mid-June at www.davidshepherd.org