Lions, Kruger National Park, South Africa.
I’ve always loved this picture of this tiny little lion cub reaching up to touch noses with his mum. We had been staying in a bushcamp in the northern section of Kruger (one of my favourite places, visiting always feels a little like coming home). We had heard that someone had seen some lion cubs earlier in the day and were hopeful we might get lucky with a sighting. We crept along scouring the savannah looking for any telltale sign that might reveal their whereabouts. Suddenly there they were, trying their best to keep cool in the shade of a small acacia. well hidden amongst the tall dry yellow grasses, whilst their mum lay nearby. They were young enough that they were still sporting spotty coats to help aid with camouflage, although the spots were already starting to fade on all but the smallest of the four cubs. You can still see them on the head of this little one. When they are first born and for a few weeks, lionesses will keep their cubs well hidden and away from the pride to keep them safe and this little group had yet to be brought back into the fold of their pride. Despite the oppressive heat they were keen to nestle against their mum and coiled their tiny little bodies against her large powerful paws. This one got up to change position and I loved the symmetry of the moment as they reached towards each other, the little cub looking up at his mum, the gentle, trusting expression on his face, it seemed to capture the essence of the tenderness of the exchanges we had seen between her and her young babies.
Knowing this image would be the base and it would form a part of my out of the blue series, the background evolved with several textured images layered in and allowed to show through in varying degrees – the blue mostly removed from the lions, although a little left to soften them into the background. Through my out of the blue series I wanted to create a sense of timelessness within the picture, using black and white imagery of the animals and the blues and golds to help explore a sense of the magical and ethereal qualities I often feel when I find myself immersed in the sheer magnificence and intricacies of the natural world.
WHY LIONS NEED YOUR HELP:
Lions are one of the most well known and well loved of African animals, probably near the top of most people’s wish list of animals they would love to see. They are highly sociable and also incredibly adaptive apex predators, who can survive in a vast array of habitats and eco-systems. Sadly though this has not protected them and their numbers have been steadily declining. Today just 20,000 remain in the wild. They have disappeared from 80% of their historic range, are already extinct in 26 African countries and just 6 protected eco-systems are known to have populations of over a 1,000. Up to 50% of the lions in Africa share their homes with people outside of formally protected areas. For lions to thrive it is vital for conservation to take place on a large scale, landscape level and for it to incorporate the local people and communities that increasingly find themselves living alongside these large predators.
When you purchase this print, I will donate 20% of the purchase price from every sale to African Parks to assist them in their incredible work to protect and rebuild the lives and livelihoods of some of Africa’s most vulnerable wildlife and people. African Parks has heeded the call to safeguard and protect Africa’s largest and most iconic cat through its effective park protection at a landscape level. They conduct species-specific interventions including reintroductions and translocations, monitoring and research and work with communities mitigating human-lion conflict. Lions are currently found in eight of the 15 parks under their management. This includes Pendjari National Park in Benin, where their actions directly impact 100 of the last remaining 400 critically endangered West African lions that survive in the wild. If you would like to find out more about African Parks or support them directly, you can visit their website here: https://www.africanparks.org
Instead of offering bulk mass-produced prints, I want you to know that you are buying something special and unique. I feel that people should purchase fine art photography prints because the artwork speaks to them and they feel an emotional connection to the print and the photographer. All my prints are strictly available as low number limited edition runs. As a limited edition print sells its price will appreciate accordingly in the online store, as fewer remain available to purchase.
This picture is printed on archival grade fine art Hahnemühle Photorag paper. If you have not seen this before it a softly textured paper that gives a wonderful quality to an image, really empathising the idea of the texture you would imagine if the lions were actually standing in front of you. It is a brilliant paper for bringing out the subtle tones and textures.
I recommend that when you receive your print that you have it properly mounted and framed by an experienced professional frame shop to ensure the maximum care and longevity of your artwork.
Should you wish to purchase a limited edition print in a different size to that listed, please contact me and I will be happy to discuss your requirements and provide a quote for the cost to produce the print in your desired size. I am also happy to provide quotes for framing or printing onto Chromaluxe if you would like to have your print sent to you ready for you to hang on your wall.