Each month, AFC recognizes an artist for their strong commitment to conservation through art. This month, AFC salutes Peter Blackwell.
Kenyan born, Peter Blackwell has been intrigued by Africa's environments and its exceptional diversity all his life.
“I believe we all have a responsibility to help protect our natural world and indeed our planet. My professional life is geared to create images of the natural world so that everyone may have a chance to be touched by its beauty. Through my art, I hope more people will become involved in taking an active role in the protection and preservation of our natural world and its inhabitants. “
Peter has been supporting several conservation groups including: Big Life Foundation USA, Rhino Ark, Nature Kenya, The Kenya Bird of Prey Trust and the Mara Conservancy. The efforts of the Big Life Foundation has been a focus for several years now. They have an enormous undertaking, with over 2 million acres of African wilderness under their watchful eyes. Their anti-poaching efforts along with community-based projects, and predator compensation funding is second to none. Through the sale of artwork at various auctions, he annually sends a portion to Big Life, knowing the funds raised are being utilised for the intended purpose- to save the African wildlife and help the local communities live harmoniously with the natural world that surrounds them.
Raised on a remote farm in Northern Kenya, the African bush was Peter's outdoor arena for entertainment and learning. Formally educated in England, where he received a degree in Graphic Design, Peter was keen to return to his roots to pursue a career not related to the advertising world, but to focus on the bush and continue a long-time interest- that of wildlife painting.
Peter spends many weeks of the year in the bush, where he not only obtains the reference material necessary to create his works, but also to study his subjects. His painting style, though realistic, also suggests an unconventional flavour as he constantly strives to create original works that are anatomically accurate, yet at the same time are fresh and innovative.
Each of Peter's works is an attempt to capture even a brief moment of Africa's beauty, and it is his wish that each piece may offer unique insights into the Africa he knows so well.