Fiona Goulding has always felt an affinity with animals, becoming a vegetarian at the age of 5, after learning where meat came from. She considers herself very fortunate to have an open-minded mother who learned as much as possible about vegetarianism and healthy living and gave her the opportunity to follow her belief. She is now vegan.
Following her heart has always been important to Fiona and, in early 2000, she left England to volunteer in Africa and travel extensively through India, Nepal, Australia and New Zealand. It was the sheer beauty and variety of the New Zealand landscape which drew her to making this country her home.
Experiencing different cultures and seeing varied wildlife and landscapes intensified her passion for nature. Fiona has always loved drawing but it was not until meeting renowned New Zealand artist Alvin Pankhurst whilst travelling that she discovered painting and found a way of expressing nature's unequivocal beauty and the connection she feels with this.
"Being able to combine my passion for animal welfare and the natural world with my passion for painting has given me a sense of purpose. Every painting is a lesson for me, not only in technique but in learning more about the subject matter, particularly birds and animals and the threats they face".
Fiona donates proceeds from sales of prints of her paintings to animal welfare organisations, currently SPCA and SAFE For Animals. SPCA is the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals which rehabilitates and rehomes around 1,700 animals every year that are sick, injured, lost, abused or simply abandoned (www.spca.nz). SAFE For Animals is New Zealand’s leading animal advocacy organisation (www.safe.org.nz).
She is also a regular volunteer with SAFE For Animals.