One of my earliest memories is of lying on my living room carpet, quietly gazing at my neighbour's daughter's dog. He was a terrifically regal, rough coated collie. His name was Prince, which suited him perfectly.

Forty years later I received an email, from my neighbour's daughter asking if I remembered the life sized paper maché bust I had made of Prince, jokingly adding that he was the only dog she'd ever known who received phone calls... "Is Prince there? Can he come over?".  All this to say that that my heart lies with animals, and with art, to this very day. 

I still find the greatest serenity in gazing at animals for hours, translating what I see into what I hope are striking works of art using a limited pallet of acrylic paint, on plaster and wood.

Since I can't have my very own bear, or deer, living in my house, I strive to manifest the next best thing.

In my work symbolism is always at play. Placing the animal subject against an often dead or decayed element not only draws attention to the cycles of life and death, but serves to create a subtle tension reminding the viewer of the plight of our one and only shared planet.

As far as the aesthetic of all things ageing, I find the deepest beauty there. In my day to day life, whether it's a moss covered stump on the forest floor, cut tulips twisting in a vase with petals dropping to the table, or an ageing human being coming closer to the end of this life experience, I desire to highlight the divinity in that transformation. The animal subject, in their prime, placed in such a setting, will have their brilliant life force accentuated in comparison.

I invite the viewer to see the truth of the animals. They are individuals, like us, rather than separate or lesser. Someone, rather than something. Each one, as important as I am in the world. I hope to share the completely exquisite beauty I see in a spry little mouse, the comical yet serious ferocity of a territorial squirrel, or the delicate vulnerability of the largest terrestrial carnivore, the polar bear.

For anyone who owns my work, I hope this loving energy vibration will grace your home as well.

Joelly Louise Cright 2019