This Cape Leopard is a symbol of hope, as people are waking up to new ways of approaching conservation – the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the unintended impacts that disrupting natural ecosystems can have on human health.
Western Cape, South Africa (22 February 2021) – Internationally renowned artist, Sonny, is known for using his creative voice to raise awareness for important environmental issues, with his latest mural shining a light on wildlife corridors as an innovative conservation approach that is bringing hope to the Cape leopard and other endangered wildlife.
Internationally renowned artist, Sonny, has become most well-known for his majestic and intricate large-scale wildlife murals that are scattered across the globe. His unique style of art blends realism with abstract elements and washes of colour. His passion for using his creative voice to raise awareness for important societal and environmental issues has also built him a reputation for being an engaged artist, driven by a desire make an impact.
Born in the United Kingdom, Sonny moved to South Africa with his family when he was just eleven year’s old; a move that sparked a lifelong fascination with wild animals. It was this passion for wildlife that, in 2017, inspired Sonny to embark on his ‘To The Bone’ project. Using his unique style of street art, Sonny set out to raise funds and awareness for endangered wildlife on a global scale.
Over the course of a year, he had created impactful murals in far-reaching places such as New York, London, Canada, Russia, Miami, Ireland, Amsterdam and South Africa. The mural tour culminated in his first solo exhibition that was held in New York in May 2018. The sold-out show was eagerly anticipated and vastly successful, drawing interest from around the globe.
And the artist has just created a new mural shining a light on leopard conservation.
“For me, this Cape leopard is a symbol of hope, as people are waking up to new ways of approaching conservation that are less about fencing off wildlife in nature reserves and more about adapting our world to allow animals and humans to safely and peacefully co-exist. We, humans, are not above nature; we are part of it.”
Sonny’s new mural, painted in Cape Town as part of the Baz-Art International Public Art, depicts a beautiful Cape leopard and responds to the festival theme of ‘100% Sustainable’. Leopards and other wildlife are being forced into ever smaller areas due to human encroachment on their natural territories. This has led to inbreeding, which can have detrimental long-term effects on the species ability to thrive (and even survive), as genetic diversity improves overall health and resilience. Through his beautifully detailed artwork, Sonny opens up a conversation around the development and use of wildlife corridors as a way to link nature reserves to other protected areas as a way to encourage genetic diversity within wildlife populations.
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the unintended impacts that disrupting natural ecosystems can have on human health. Even more of a reason to work towards stitching together disjointed ecosystems for the sake of wildlife and humans alike!