New Zealand born, Sydney based artist Jaimee Paul documents her love of, and connection with, animals with great detail and realism. But beyond just depicting them, Jaimee creates ‘art for purpose’ to spread positive awareness of animals to her audience. She aims to forge an emotional connection between the viewer and the subject and to promote animal protection.
Honour The Being is a collection of animal portrait paintings which depicts Jaimee’s interactions with the animals – some admired from afar and others conveying a close emotional bond of companionship. The exhibition’s purpose is to honour the moments and beings that have reinforced her love for the environment. Moments sought out by travel, gained by a physical eye to eye connection, captured by her camera lens, and lastly, translated with her paintbrush.
“No matter how connected you are to animals in your life, there are those moments that take your breath away, that you hold on to forever. This series is a documentation of those memories that took my breath away,” said Jaimee. “I found inspiration in the souls that hid behind the eyes that met mine once upon a time. They remind me of what’s important and what’s worth protecting in our fragile world.”
The hero piece of the Honour The Being show is a life-sized portrait of a White Rhino. “Visiting Western Plains Zoo recently I sat with the White Rhinos for over an hour, where I felt a huge connection and experienced ecological grief. I knew then I had to honour them in a painting and the only way to highlight their powerful presence was to go full life size”. When Jaimee painted the Northern White Rhino in 2015 there were 5 remaining. Now there are only 2 of them left. “I wanted to respect them but also highlight its close relation (the White Rhino) as a sign of hope. That we still have the power to not repeat history.”
Click here to see a short video of Jamie painting and talking about this White Rhino portrait.
“Over my various travel adventures, my fondest memories are those that involve animals. Yes I’m that person hugging the donkey in that little village on the mountain top of Peru… but these moments are my favourite, what makes me and as an artist honouring them in a painting is my way to say thank you to them, for reminding me what’s important. “
You can catch Honour The Being, a solo exhibition by artist Jaimee Paul at Sydney Road Gallery from now until 5 August 2018.
You might also like to see the work and creative spaces of Amanda Tye, Jessica Watts, and Fiona Chandler who are fellow artists at Sydney Road Gallery. To take a peek into a whole range of other artists’ and creatives’ lives and studios, visit the We Are Scout Space to Create archives.