We are British collaborative artists. We track, paint and photograph endangered species in the wild. For the past 30 years we have been in a conversation with the natural world.
‘I have noticed in my life that all men have a liking for some special animal, tree, plant, or spot on earth … let a man decide upon his favourite animal and make a study of it, learning it’s innocent ways. Let him learn to understand it’s sounds and motions. The animals want to communicate with man.’
Brave Buffalo, Sioux Nation
We first met as fine-art degree students at Central St Martins School of Art in London in 1987. Our collaboration began in earnest during our Sophomore scholarship to Syracuse University in New York. Here we first discovered Native American art and learned of the Mohawk/Iroquois belief in ‘animals as brothers’.
Inspired by this conservation wisdom and our first journeys together in the North American wilderness, we were struck by a simple realisation; if we wanted to understand and document the true nature of wild animals we needed to get out of our urban comfort zone and make our work where they lived.
Over the next 4 years we immersed ourselves in Expedition planning. We began by researching the remote regions we aimed to visit in the map room at the Royal Geographical Society in London. Step by step we identified core skills we would need to enable us make work in extreme environments and in independent isolation for months at a time. To this end we learned tracking, remote region medicine, scuba-diving, and wilderness survival. When you fully commit to going down a new and uncertain path things you never anticipated open up to you. We were fortunate to meet a range of generous and inspiring individuals, patrons and sponsors who believed in our mission and our work and helped us in those early years achieve our goals.
In 1994 we took a step into the unknown, gave up our London studio and embarked on what would become a twelve year period of extended art-making expeditions. By combining our passion for painting together with our quest to explore remote wilderness our journeys would take us to Arctic, desert, ocean and jungle habitats on 7 continents to track, dive with and paint the most endangered creatures on the planet. Our commitment to our wild subjects was cemented in the field. The bush had become our studio.
Today we combine both a studio and wilderness practice. Our work still represents our original mutual passion for documenting and understanding the plight of the natural world. In this regard we have become passionate conservationists. Our work is held in private and public collections worldwide.
"Their interest in nature is poetic and innocent, rather than melodramatic and pumped up. What I like about their produce is the way it seeks to preserve a sense of nature's delicacy and preciousness."
Waldemar Januszczak, Sunday Times.